STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trump admin withholds 100,000-plus pages of Kavanaugh docs

The Trump administration will hold back more than 100,000 pages of documents related to Supreme Court nomine...

Posted: Sep 3, 2018 1:10 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2018 1:10 PM

The Trump administration will hold back more than 100,000 pages of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's service because the White House and the Department of Justice have determined they are protected by constitutional privilege, according to a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

William Burck, a lawyer charged by former President George W. Bush with reviewing the documents housed in the presidential library, disclosed the exemptions in a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Friday. Burck explained that, in all, he received just under 664,000 pages of documents and that Bush had directed him to "proceed expeditiously" and "err as much as appropriate on the side of transparency and disclosure."

Brett Kavanaugh

Chuck Grassley

George W. Bush

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Political Figures - US

Politics

US Congress

US federal government

US Senate

White House

US federal court system

US Supreme Court

Donald Trump

Burck said he has given the committee "every reviewable" document that he received except those that fell into exemptions that included "presidential records protected by constitutional privilege."

The disclosure comes days before Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, which are slated to begin Tuesday, and intensifies a battle between Grassley, who says he has produced a record number of documents, and Senate democrats who question the review being led by lawyers for the Trump administration and Bush. Democratic senators argue that Grassley is refusing to produce documents from Kavanaugh's years serving as staff secretary in the White House from 2003 to 2006.

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer called the decision to withhold the documents a "Friday night document massacre."

"President Trump's decision to step in at the last moment and hide 100,000 pages of Judge Kavanaugh's records from the American public is not only unprecedented in the history of Supreme Court nominations, it has all the makings of a cover up," he said in a statement.

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee countered that Burck's letter provided a "full accounting" of Kavanaugh's records and that Grassley has expanded access to confidential material beyond that for any other Supreme Court nominee. In a release, the committee pointed out that Grassley had promised to facilitate the release of another set of documents, currently available only to members, if senators keep their requests targeted to specific documents.

White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah responded on Twitter to Schumer by saying that the Senate Judiciary Committee requested access to "non privileged" presidential records. "That has been satisfied to the tune of over 440,000 pages of executive branch documents, more than what was produced for the past five #Scotus nominees combined," he wrote.

Kavanaugh's confirmation is complicated by the sheer number of emails that exist during his years in the White House. In 2005, for instance, Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Democrat who was then in the minority, requested documents from then-chief justice nominee John Robert's service in the Office of Solicitor General during Robert's confirmation battle.

Then-Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella wrote back that the department had determined that documents pertaining to "internal discussions" among lawyers were covered by both "deliberative process privilege" and "attorney-client privilege." But the privilege was never formally asserted.

In his letter, Burck defined the withheld documents as those that "reflect deliberations and candid advice concerning the selection of judicial candidates" as well as advice submitted directly to Bush, substantive communications between White House staff about discussions with the President and "substantive deliberative discussions relating to or about executive orders or legislation considered by the Executive Office."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15523

Reported Deaths: 734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds100625
Lauderdale73862
Madison72423
Scott65012
Neshoba64639
Jones62928
Forrest56438
DeSoto5427
Rankin4398
Holmes42928
Leake42712
Copiah3124
Jackson30813
Attala29817
Yazoo2814
Newton2714
Leflore26431
Lincoln26329
Harrison2587
Monroe25725
Oktibbeha23912
Lamar2385
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Wayne2041
Pike20311
Adams19915
Noxubee1866
Washington1787
Warren17310
Covington1652
Jasper1634
Bolivar16211
Lee1536
Smith15211
Kemper14411
Clarke14418
Lafayette1364
Chickasaw13512
Coahoma1254
Carroll11711
Winston1171
Marion1159
Clay1124
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Tate941
Grenada943
Yalobusha935
Hancock9111
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Montgomery851
Sunflower843
Union835
Marshall833
Jefferson Davis773
Tippah7311
Panola713
Webster692
Calhoun654
Amite641
Humphreys607
Walthall560
Tunica553
Prentiss533
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Pontotoc353
Quitman330
Tishomingo320
Stone300
Franklin292
Tallahatchie271
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene131
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18018

Reported Deaths: 644
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
Sumter2247
Autauga2214
Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
Hale1739
Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
Bibb751
Washington706
Escambia633
Blount621
Lawrence500
Geneva430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Columbus
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Starkville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather