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Trickle of Kavanaugh’s White House Documents Emerges

Category: Political News,Politics

Judge Kavanaugh served as a White House lawyer from 2001 to 2003, and then as staff secretary to Mr. Bush from 2003 to 2006, when he was confirmed as a judge on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The Senate has been fighting over the speed of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, a struggle that for now is playing out as two debates over access to documents — whether Mr. Burck should have any role in screening the files, as well as how many Bush-era documents from the National Archives will eventually be made available to the Senate.

Democrats have argued that all of his files from that entire period — potentially millions of pages — should be shown to the Judiciary Committee. But the panel’s chairman, Senator Charles Grassley, Republican of Iowa, has argued that the staff secretary files are too voluminous and not needed for senators to make a judgment about Judge Kavanaugh’s fitness to sit on the Supreme Court.

Mr. Burck — who was Mr. Kavanaugh’s deputy as staff secretary in the Bush White House — provided the 125,000 pages of files to the committee on the condition that they would treat them all as “confidential” and not make them public, a condition he lifted for the 5,700 pages made public on Thursday.

In a statement, Senator Charles Schumer, of New York, the Democratic minority leader, portrayed the committee’s engagement with and deference to Mr. Burck as part of a partisan cover-up of Judge Kavanaugh’s record.

“Not only is a massively conflicted Republican lawyer, who previously worked for Judge Kavanaugh, cherry-picking what documents the Senate Judiciary Committee can see, he is now telling the committee what the rest of the Senate and the American public can see — and Republicans are playing along,” he said. “We are seeing layer after layer of unprecedented secrecy in what is quickly becoming the least transparent nominations process in history.”

But a Republican Judiciary Committee staffer said the release was just the beginning of making public the files the committee received last week, and that more will be forthcoming.


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