Lawmakers release 87K new documents on high court nominee Kavanaugh

By Ed Adamczyk   |   Aug. 13, 2018 at 8:12 AM
More than 87,000 documents pertaining to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's White House tenure were released Sunday. Confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin on Sept. 4. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Senate judiciary committee has released another 87,000 pages of documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's tenure as White House counsel under former President George W. Bush.

The documents were made public Sunday, a little over three weeks before Kavanaugh begins his confirmation in the upper chamber. Hearings will begin Sept. 4.

While a two-month timeline in the process is typical, Senate Democrats have pushed for a later date for the hearings, citing a need for time to review the mass of available documentation. Kavanaugh was nominated July 9.

Paperwork released Sunday includes legal opinions Kavanaugh has written, his committee questionnaire, documents from his tenure as associate counsel in the Bush White House and records from his time as a deputy in independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's 1998 investigation of President Bill Clinton.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee's ranking Democrat, said Republicans are attempting to rush through Kavanaugh's confirmation before senators can thoroughly review his past.

"It's clear that Republicans want to speed this nomination through before we know who Brett Kavanaugh is," Feinstein, a vocal critic of Kavanaugh's nomination, said before the records were released. "This is not how the Senate should approve a nominee for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land."

"It's unprecedented to go to these lengths to hide a Supreme Court nominee's records from the American people," she added.

The material released so far is already five times greater than that of the last two nominees to the court. Senators reviewed about 182,000 pages of documents relating to Neil Gorsuch last year and 170,000 pages on Elena Kagan in 2010.

"99% of Elana Kagan's White House records were made public before her nomination hearing. 0.08% of Brett Kavanaugh's records are public now," Feinstein added.

A preliminary review of Sunday's material offered no obvious surprises or controversies. Some depict Kavanaugh dealing with issues following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, while others include invitations to think tank events and questions on minor issues. Thousands of copies of the same document are included, as are press releases and newspaper articles sent to his attention.

So far, 103,000 pages of material from Kavanaugh's work in the Bush administration have been made available.

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