Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Reliance On An Unprecedented Partisan Records Production For Judge Kavanaugh

[On Thursday, August 2, 2018, the General Counsel of the National Archives and Records Administration informed the Senate Judiciary Committee that it will not be able to complete its statutory review of the subset of Judge Kavanaugh’s White House records requested by Senate Republicans until October.  This subset only comprises one quarter of Judge Kavanaugh’s total White House records.  Nonetheless, a spokesperson for Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley asserted that the Judiciary Committee will go forward with a hearing for Judge Kavanaugh in September, before the National Archives can complete its review of the partial records request.  Instead, the Committee will rely on lawyers representing the interests of President George W. Bush to conduct a parallel review of such documents and to produce them to the Committee as they see fit.  Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a leading member of the Judiciary Committee and a previous Chairman who has managed earlier Supreme Court confirmation proceedings, released the following statement:]  

For every Supreme Court nominee since Watergate, professional archivists with the National Archives have reviewed any associated White House records of the nominee and provided them to the Senate Judiciary Committee as required by statute.  If Senate Republicans sideline this nonpartisan process and instead rely on self-selected partisan lawyers to self-select documents from just two of Judge Kavanaugh’s five years in the White House, it will mark the most partisan and incomplete vetting of a Supreme Court nominee in my memory.  And I have been here for 19 of them.

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