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National Archives to review all Kavanaugh records by October, potentially delaying confirmation

03 August 2018

He said he would be able to be more specific about the confirmation hearing dates next week.

"As you know, President Bush is under no obligation to produce records of his administration but has authorized this production to assist" the committee on its consideration of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Burck wrote to Grassley. "In the end, the committee will have reviewed significantly more records than ever before for a Supreme Court nominee", read a statement from Judiciary Committee staff. As Chairman Grassley said this morning, he intends to hold a hearing sometime in September.

"I think it's more than enough for the Democrats to make a rational decision about supporting Judge Kavanaugh", Sen.

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Some Republicans had hoped the proceedings would begin in August - normally a vacation month for the Senate - but Democrats have slowed the process. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have been negotiating for weeks about what documents would be requested but ultimately did not reach a consensus. They say senators don't need to review an additional 1 million papers on Bush-era policies like the interrogation of terror suspects beyond those already being compiled.

National Archives General Counsel Gary Stern said in a letter to Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that will hold confirmation hearings, that although some records could be produced earlier, a complete review would be completed "by the end of October". A source involved in the review process told CNN that the law requires the former president to be consulted about which records can be disclosed - and said the Bush team is working with law firms to turn over the documents simply so the Senate can get them expeditiously.

There are two separate reviews of documents happening simultaneously: One by the Bush team and another by the National Archives. Kavanaugh was nominated July 9.

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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. That is far more than than the 60,000 pages the Archives identified from the White House counsel's office, and the 170,000 emails he either received or sent or was copied on. They said Grassley's initial request was sufficient and that senators would have hundreds of thousands of records to review on the nomination even without the staff secretary documents.

Republicans contend that a staff secretary job is more administrative, rather than substantive, and Democrats are simply engaging in a delay tactic to demand documents related to his time as staff secretary.

Any delay could mean that Kavanaugh, if ultimately approved by the Republican-led Senate, could still miss the October 1 start of the Supreme Court's term and that the final confirmation vote could take place close to the November 6 US congressional elections.

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National Archives to review all Kavanaugh records by October, potentially delaying confirmation