Did the National Archives Throw a Wrench Into Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation?

Amy Coney Barrett at her Senate confirmation hearing in 2017

As Chairman Grassley said this morning, he intends to hold a hearing sometime in September.

Grassley called it probably the "deepest dive" ever conducted on a Supreme Court nominee.

The heightened tensions over President Donald Trump's nominee came as the first batch of documents were turned over to the committee from George W. Bush's team Thursday, totaling more than 125,000 pages during Kavanaugh's time serving in Bush's White House counsel's office from 2001-2003.

Many Democratic senators have refused to meet with Judge Kavanaugh until nearly a million pages of documents related to his time working for the Bush administration are released.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats also object to the Bush library, rather than nonpartisan archives officials, vetting the documents. But when Grassley sent the request to the Bush archives, he explicitly left out the three years in which Kavanaugh served as staff secretary to Bush, writes the New York Times.

Republicans are calling Democrats' request for more documents a delay tactic, but the letter from the National Archives shows that Kavanaugh's confirmation may be delayed even without Democratic action. "We don't know what they've held back, or why".

"I question the sincerity of demands for more documents", said Grassley.

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Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who's challenging Heitkamp this fall, doesn't have a formal say in Kavanaugh's confirmation but voiced his support for the judge shortly after Trump announced the pick last month.

So far Manchin is the only Democrat who has met with Kavanaugh, with many stating they will outright oppose Kavanaugh because of what they believe could put at risk the abortion-legalizing Roe v. Wade decision and the dismantling of government-run health care, or Obamacare.

"Those are documents that presumably our colleagues have looked at, but they haven't found much in it to build a case against the nominee so now they've chose to take it down a different path, which I believe is more of a stall tactic than anything else", said Tillis. Feinstein and Cory Booker (D-NJ), have already said they will not vote for Kavanaugh.

Particularly concerning to Democrats are Kavanaugh's writings on the special counsel law after his experience on Kenneth Starr's team investigating President Bill Clinton. That would give Senate Judiciary Committee members enough time to review the documents ahead of a likely hearing in September and allow for a final confirmation vote by the start of the new Supreme Court term on October 1.

"If you were to stack up all these pages, it'd be taller than Big Ben, taller than the Statue of Liberty, taller than the US Capitol", Tillis pointed out.

Orrin Hatch criticized the partisan fighting surround the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

"I'm exhausted of partisanship and frankly, we didn't treat their candidates for these positions the way they're treating ours", Sen.

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