Senate Democrats Are Breaking the Boycott Against Meeting with Trump's SCOTUS Nominee to Question Him on Documents
Senate Democrats have been unofficially boycotting meeting with Russian asset Real Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, pending an agreement from Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to obtain all of the documents relating to his service with President George W. Bush. Republicans have agreed to provide his documents from his service to the legal counsel office for Bush, but not for his service from 2003-06 as Bush's staff secretary, a time when he was involved with other senior administrative staff in things like figuring out how to spin torture.
Republicans are fighting the document request through a highly political process—not through the National Archives—but through Bush's legal team. By his "legal team," we mean Bill Burck. Bill Burck "also has close ties to President Trump through his current representation of Stephen K. Bannon, Reince Priebus and Donald McGahn," as Sen. Chuck Schumer has pointed out. Yeah, the guy who is choosing which material to present for Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is representing these guys in the Russia probe. No problem there, right?
Since Republicans have absolutely no shame in this, Democrats have decided to go directly to the source. Schumer and ranking Judiciary member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have announced that they will meet with Kavanaugh and ask him specifically to provide the records.
"In addition to questioning Judge Kavanaugh on health care, women's freedom, presidential power and other issues, Senate Democrats intend to demand that he call for and support the release of all of his files from his time in the Bush White House," a senior Democratic aide told the Washington Post. "Democrats will urge Judge Kavanaugh to ask the National Archives and President Bush to adhere to the same standard that was met for Justice [Elena] Kagan’s confirmation."
They've also made the request directly to Bush, telling him their "concern is that the Archivist of the United States, who is responsible for guiding the review and release of responsive documents, would be cut out of this new process being contemplated by Senate Republicans."
If, as is glaringly apparent, there is stuff to hide in Kavaugh's record, then they might have stronger footing in blowing up the issue having agreed to meet with him. It will also give them the ability to say they met with him, and they didn't like what they heard.
But none of this should prevent them from doing what needs to be done: refusing to attend any confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh. They need to deploy the McConnell doctrine here: no confirmations until after the election.