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

Raymond Kethledge at his Senate confirmation hearing in 2008

CSPAN Raymond Kethledge at his Senate confirmation hearing in 2008

So far Manchin is the only Democrat who has met with Kavanaugh, with many stating they will outright oppose Kavanaugh because of what they believe could put at risk the abortion-legalizing Roe v. Wade decision and the dismantling of government-run health care, or Obamacare.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) foreshadowed the escalating document fight over Kavanaugh's record in June, after Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement.

The heightened tensions over President Donald Trump's nominee came as the first batch of documents were turned over to the committee from George W. Bush's team Thursday, totaling more than 125,000 pages during Kavanaugh's time serving in Bush's White House counsel's office from 2001-2003. As the Washington Post reported, Kavanaugh spent two years in the White House counsel's office and three years as staff secretary.

But during his 2006 confirmation hearings to serve on a federal appeals court, Kavanaugh acknowledged playing a role in presidential statements that Bush employed with frequency to accompany legislation he signed into law.

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"The committee will receive documents in an even more rapid fashion from the Bush Library as the Archives continues its statutory document review", spokesman Taylor Foy said in a statement.

"Please note that we will not be able to complete our review of all of the records that you have requested by August 15, 2018", Stern wrote to Grassley. Still, a spokesperson for Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he still plans on holding confirmation hearings in September.

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 USA congressional elections. And Democrats are already citing the Archives' delayed timeline to cry foul on the process.

Democrats say the documents they are requesting, including the staff secretary papers, are crucial to understanding all aspects Kavanaugh's background, particular his role in forming policy under Bush.

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Schumer added: "This unprecedented process appears to be designed intentionally by Republicans to deny the Senate and the American people the information they need to evaluate this critically important nomination".

Tom Williams via Getty Images Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members standing with boxes representing roughly 1 million pages of documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Even before Thursday's letter from the National Archives, Republicans blasted the Democratic demands as delay tactics. In private calls to the White House before Kavanaugh was nominated, McConnell stressed that Kavanaugh's significant paper trail could slow down his confirmation process, according to the New York Times. I will support his nomination to the Supreme Court this fall.

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