09.21.18

Senators Secure Commitment From NARA, CIA, DOJ To Produce Kavanaugh Documents

On Friday, in response to a request by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), Judge Randolph Moss ordered the National Archives, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Department of Justice to begin immediate negotiations on a schedule for releasing records involving Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

“We are very pleased to have secured a commitment from these federal agencies to produce documents, which stands in stark contrast to the posturing of the Trump Administration and Senate Republicans over the last eight weeks,” the Senators said.

“Judge Kavanaugh’s record was deserving of serious scrutiny even before his seemingly misleading testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee this month. With that in mind, we plan to focus our request on documents that may shed light on his truthfulness regarding a number of issues, including his receipt of stolen emails and participation in the selection of ideologically extreme judicial nominees. We also plan to focus our request on documents from Judge Kavanaugh’s formative years in the Bush White House, including his time as Staff Secretary – records Chairman Grassley didn’t even bother to request.”

The senators have asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to order the National Archives, the CIA, and DOJ to comply with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted on August 8, 2018. More than a month after the FOIA requests were originally submitted, none of the agencies have provided any records. The lawsuit is accompanied by a motion seeking a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order to require the agencies to respond immediately.  The Senators are represented in this effort by American Oversight, a nonpartisan ethics and accountability watchdog.

This lawsuit follows months of repeated efforts by Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats to obtain and review Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s full record. In August, in the face of repeated obstruction by Senate Republicans, Blumenthal led all the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in submitting FOIA requests to the National Archives, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Homeland Security, and the CIA.

The Senators’ FOIA requests were filed only after Republicans established a precedent-breaking, parallel document production process to circumvent established procedures for Congressional review of a nominee’s record and, in turn, keep secret a large majority of Judge Kavanaugh’s long career paper trail.

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