The National Archives denied Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s request Friday for documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary under George W. Bush.
The head of NARA, archivist David Ferriero, in a letter to Schumer, says the requests for certain sensitive documents for Kavanaugh’s time as Bush staff secretary need to come from the Judiciary Committee’s office, per longstanding precedent. The committee is at odds over the scope of documents from that period, the number of which could run into the hundreds of thousands.
Ferriero said the National Archives and Records Administration has declined to process similar requests from the lead Republicans on the Judiciary Committee in connection with the nominations of Attorney General Eric Holder and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan during the administration of President Barack Obama.
On Thursday the National Archives said it would not be able to completely review more than 900,000 pages requested by Republicans until the end of October. Senate Republicans blasted Democrats, deeming the request for more documents as a tactic of delay.
"It's just amazing to me they make such a farce of this," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. He urged the Senate not to continue "down this partisan, picky, stupid" path.
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said the documents already being sought would stack as high as the Capitol dome.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that this was likely the “deepest dive” ever conducted on a Supreme Court nominee.
The documents currently being reviewed cover Kavanaugh’s time in the White House counsel's office and his nomination to be a judge.
Schumer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded Friday by requesting more documents related to Kavanaugh’s work as an associate counsel for Independendent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr.
Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report.