Schumer: In Unprecedented Move, Republicans Seek To Hide 95% Of Even Small Portion Of Judge Kavanaugh’s Papers Provided To Judiciary Committee

August 9, 2018

Of 125,000 Pages Provided To The Committee So Far, Republicans Fighting To Keep All But 5,700 Secret From American Public And The Majority Of The Senate


Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today released the following statement regarding Republicans’ efforts to hide 95% of even the small portion of Judge Kavanaugh’s papers provided to the Judiciary Committee:

“Every day, Republican obstruction of Kavanaugh’s record gets worse and worse.  Not only is a massively conflicted Republican lawyer, who previously worked for Judge Kavanaugh, cherry-picking what documents the Senate Judiciary Committee can see, he is now telling the Committee what the rest of the Senate and the American public can see – and Republicans are playing along.   We are seeing layer after layer of unprecedented secrecy in what is quickly becoming the least transparent nominations process in history.


At around midnight last night, a former deputy to Judge Kavanaugh and current lawyer for President George W. Bush, Bill Burck, provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee a public version of the 125k pages of documents that they shared with the committee, on what they claim is a confidential basis, last Friday. In the letter Burck sent, he indicated that the National Archives didn't have time to review the batch of documents Burck provided last week, so a second review was done by Burck's team in order to determine what they felt could be made public. Burck’s original production was 45,083 docs, totaling 125,035 pages.  Burck’s production of documents that they claim can be made public is 2,036 documents, totaling 5,735 pages - less than 5%.

To summarize, the only documents the Senate has received from Kavanaugh's nearly five years in the Bush White House have come not from the National Archives, but from a private lawyer who used to report to Kavanaugh in the Bush White House, and who currently works for Kavanaugh's former employer, President Bush.  Those documents were originally provided with a demand that they not be released publicly until the Archives could review them. Now we're learning that the Archives didn't have time to do that screening, and Burck's team did a second pass.  These documents are not just pre-screened, but doubly pre-screened.  We have no idea of what they withheld either the first or second time. 

And, of course, this only refers to the documents from his time in the White House Counsel’s office - Senate Republicans are working with Burck to block access to documents from Kavanaugh's time as Staff Secretary – which comprise a large majority of documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House.