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

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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