Trump admin withholds Kavanaugh docs

CNN legal analyst Joan Biskupic says the Trump administration is withholding a larger than usual amount of documents pertaining to supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh even though similar documents about Chief Justice John Roberts were made public during his confirmation hearing.

Posted: Sep 4, 2018 4:43 AM
Updated: Sep 4, 2018 5:06 AM

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."

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

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Confirmed Cases: 117617

Reported Deaths: 3302
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8011179
DeSoto721079
Harrison539884
Jackson469387
Rankin401686
Madison384394
Lee364082
Forrest309478
Jones296184
Washington260399
Lafayette253143
Lauderdale2499135
Lamar229138
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Bolivar202877
Neshoba1861111
Lowndes181262
Panola170640
Leflore169188
Sunflower164049
Warren156056
Monroe153073
Pontotoc149020
Marshall147330
Lincoln142959
Pike140456
Copiah138736
Scott126229
Coahoma125537
Yazoo122734
Grenada122639
Simpson122349
Union119725
Tate119339
Itawamba115926
Leake115842
Pearl River115060
Holmes114960
Adams109344
Prentiss108320
Wayne102722
Alcorn102112
George101419
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Marion95443
Tippah93123
Newton86827
Chickasaw86226
Hancock85928
Tallahatchie84626
Winston84621
Tishomingo82241
Attala80526
Clarke76353
Clay70522
Jasper69217
Walthall64127
Calhoun62713
Noxubee60117
Smith59816
Yalobusha55614
Montgomery55423
Claiborne53916
Tunica53617
Lawrence53414
Perry51223
Carroll49712
Stone48614
Greene47918
Humphreys44916
Amite42713
Quitman4216
Jefferson Davis41711
Webster37813
Benton3608
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32715
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27710
Franklin2483
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 160380

Reported Deaths: 2713
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23573377
Mobile16994316
Tuscaloosa10462140
Montgomery10352198
Madison942298
Shelby750465
Baldwin671269
Lee657165
Calhoun464761
Marshall442651
Etowah434151
Morgan422335
Houston419334
DeKalb349228
Elmore324653
St. Clair304042
Limestone293631
Walker283793
Talladega271437
Cullman255725
Lauderdale233842
Jackson219417
Autauga208231
Franklin206432
Colbert206032
Blount197225
Russell19603
Chilton190432
Dallas188127
Coffee180711
Dale178952
Covington175929
Escambia174931
Chambers136847
Clarke136617
Pike134514
Tallapoosa133987
Marion110331
Barbour10429
Marengo102622
Butler101241
Winston94013
Geneva9217
Lawrence86933
Pickens86918
Bibb85015
Randolph83516
Hale77730
Cherokee75614
Clay75312
Washington75112
Henry7236
Lowndes71628
Monroe65510
Bullock65017
Crenshaw60930
Perry5956
Fayette58913
Cleburne5739
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56513
Macon53920
Lamar5085
Sumter47421
Choctaw39312
Greene34616
Coosa2093
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