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Chris Geidner @chrisgeidner
, 19 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
The secrecy surrounding large portions of Brett Kavanaugh’s records by Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley’s outright support of it, is something that should be a much bigger deal.
It’s not sexy, so not enough people appear to care, but it’s astonishing given that Mitch McConnell *knew* Kavanaugh had a huge # of public records that would need to be reviewed (see NYT). Then, he was nominated, and Grassley just turned on a dime and ignored that.
Grassley decided to short-circuit the National Archives process — which said its review would go through late October — by going directly to GWB and his lawyer (Burck). Those withheld will still be NARA-reviewed, per Grassley, but it’s not clear all will be reviewed by Tues.
He then decided to say, on top of that, that the records from Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary to GWB were irrelevant — an absolutely absurd claim, given the importance of the role. (He got that role after working in the WH counsel’s office; it’s a key job.)
Then, to top it off, Grassley talks constantly about the _#_ of pages released and how it’s more than other nominees. Yes, we’re aware. That was McConnell’s point pre-nomination. He’s got a lot! The question is what _%_ of his docs from his time in fed gov’t have been produced.
And, I’ve no idea whether the documents would have any effect on the outcome of his nomination. The point is that the Senate should be able to review them and the public should be able to see any that don’t have (actual) national security/personal reasons for nondisclosure.
And that appeared to have been McConnell’s position the weekend before Kavanaugh’s nomination. Overnight, it disappeared, and, fast-forward, here we are: The weekend before the confirmation hearing is to begin and we lack access to hundreds of thousands of his documents.
NYT, before nom: “The number of pages is said to run into the millions, which Mr. McConnell fears could hand Senate Democrats an opportunity to delay the confirmation vote ...”

AP, tonight: “In all, 267,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents from his Bush years are being made public.”
That we have gone from that argument on July 7 —… — to this reality less than two months later is as aggressive a position as McConnell and Grassley’s move in 2016 to block movement on Garland’s nomination. And everyone should understand that.
Unlike in 2016 — when McConnell and Grassley owned their blockade of Garland, to their ultimate political advantage — in 2018 they’re not doing so at all, instead trying to ignore it by having Grassley just claim that what they’re doing is not what they’re doing.
Postscript: The reason I included Trump in the first tweet in the thread is that the AP story is saying that Trump is withholding papers from the GWB White House of his own SCOTUS nominee from being released. More from @EricColumbus here —>…
BREAKING: I've got much more here on the 100,000 pages+ of Brett Kavanaugh's records that are being withheld by direction of the Trump administration —>…
BIG: The Trump Administration Is Keeping 100,000 Pages Of Brett Kavanaugh's Records Secret… ... Here's the description of why documents are being withheld under executive privilege —>
Here's what happened to the documents (that an outside vendor decided weren't duplicates) turned over by NARA to GWB lawyers to review (and remember this is ONLY from Kavanaugh's time in the counsel's office):… —>
I just added the full letter here, so please share —> The Trump Administration Is Keeping 100,000 Pages Of Brett Kavanaugh's Records Secret:…
Senate Dem Leader Chuck Schumer calls the Trump-hidden Kavanaugh documents —… — a “Friday night document massacre” and says “it has all the makings of a cover up” in a statement provided to @BuzzFeedNews:
More from me tonight on the big-picture look at the fight over Kavanaugh's documents and how Republicans have been taking whatever steps they can to minimize the number of documents going out and to quickly move out the ones that are going out —>
Another night, another story on the 100,000+ pages of Kavanuagh documents that no one is going to get to see. Tonight, DOJ acknowledged that it made the call on which docs to withhold.
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