DNC Files FOIA Request for Roberts Documents

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The National Archives have now released some 66,000 pages of documents on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts (search), but the Democratic National Committee says it's not enough and filed a Freedom of Information Act request Monday seeking more papers.

Click in the box to the right to watch a report by FOX News' Jim Angle.

"The White House is so actively stonewalling any attempt to get any information out on anything about this candidate — slow-walking these documents from the White House and archives," said DNC vice chairwoman Susan Turnbull.

The Bush administration argues just the opposite, with officials saying they have expedited documents from the archives, opening up 38,000 of those 66,000 pages just last week.

Turnbull said the FOIA request is an attempt to uncover additional documents, though she acknowledged that the DNC is not sure what it's hoping to find.

"Basically, we were left in the dark as to what exists out there on this man's record," she said.

Republicans say plenty of information on Roberts is available, and if the Democrats are looking for a smoking gun, they will be disappointed since nothing they find in the record will disqualify Roberts. One Republican analyst called the DNC search a desperate last-ditch effort.

"Continuing requests for documents is what we in the legal profession call a fishing expedition. They are just looking for something. Hoping against hope they are going to find something," said Republican National Committee general counsel Jan Baran.

Even some Democrats outside the nomination process say plenty of information is available with which to make a judgment about Roberts' qualifications for the highest court in the land.

"I think there's been a great deal of cooperation, there are literally thousands and thousands of pages of documents," said former Louisiana Sen. John Breaux.

"It's not necessarily that there's something to be hidden because the documents are not released," Breaux continued, adding that hearings are another avenue for Democrats to get information on Roberts. "I think they can ask questions about his general philosophy but I don't think getting into some of the specifics of his advice as an attorney with a client" will be answered during the course of hearings, he said.

Democrats say they want access to documents from Roberts' time serving in former President George H.W. Bush's solicitor general's office, the agency that handles cases before the Supreme Court. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pressing for the release of documents on 16 key cases.

But the DNC is demanding the release of all documents from 1989 to 1993.

The administration argues those documents cannot be released because they're covered by attorney-client privilege — and Breaux agrees.

"Attorney-client privilege still is a document that has to be enforced and upheld even if the client happens to be the government. An attorney advising a client doesn't necessarily indicate how that attorney would think himself, personally, or how he would decide as a judge later on," he said.

Many liberal activists say they've already seen enough to know that Roberts should not be confirmed. But they say they fear Democratic senators are not yet convinced and are hoping a document somewhere might tip the scales.