First lawsuits filed to demand access to Kavanaugh records

July 10, 2018

The first lawsuits were filed Tuesday demanding access to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s records from his time in the Bush White House from 2001 to 2006, and his time on the special counsel’s team in the 1990s.

Fix the Court, an activist group, says it requested both sets of records long ago in the case of the White House documents the request was filed last year yet still has yet to see anything.

Fix the Court said with Judge Kavanaugh now facing a confirmation process, the information is crucial to senators seeking to evaluate him.

“Federal agencies seem determined to make it as difficult as possible to obtain public records from judicial nominees,” said Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court.

Of all the judges on President Trump’s short list for the high court, Judge Kavanaugh had the lengthiest pedigree in Washington, which combined with his 12 years as an appeals court judge will give senators plenty of material to plow through.

As a young lawyer Judge Kavanaugh served in the special counsel’s office during probes into President Clinton. He also clerked for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, did several stints in private practice and worked for six years at the Bush White House, serving first in the counsel’s office and then as staff secretary.

Fix the Court is seeking documents from those times in the special counsel’s office and the Bush White House.

Internal White House communications are generally shielded from open-records laws but communications with outside departments and agencies are not. Fix the Court requested communications between Judge Kavanaugh and the Justice Department.

The National Archives is already at work looking over which Kavanaugh documents it can release.

Leonard Leo, executive director of the Federalist Society, who advises the Trump White House on judicial nominations, said Tuesday that the George W. Bush Presidential Library, a part of the archives, “is going to move swiftly in releasing the papers that can be released.”

“I’m sure there’ll be many of them,” he told the “Hugh Hewitt Show.” “And the Democrats can have lots of fun reading lots of Bush press releases that are already public. They can read dozens of White House menus. I’m sure it’ll make for wonderful reading. And the American people can decide whether or not that’s a useful allocation of taxpayer resources.”

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