Democrats raise alarm over White House decision to withhold Kavanaugh documents

When Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate panel vetting his nomination tomorrow to begin his weeklong confirmation hearing, President Trump won't be in attendance - but he will be a main focus.

In recent weeks, moderate Republicans considered swing votes have met with Kavanaugh - for long meetings on critical issues.

The judge was deeply skeptical of Congress' ability to impose restrictions, calling limits on outside groups "blatantly unconstitutional" - a position the Supreme Court eventually took as well when it struck down the restrictions.

Kavanaugh, who has been tapped by President Trump to replace Anthony Kennedy on the nation's highest court, served in the White House Counsel's office during the Bush administration.

Citing executive privilege, the White House told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen.

The Department of Justice and the White House said it had identified the documents to be within "constitutional privilege", Burck wrote in the letter, which was released by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrats opposed to Kavanaugh's nomination have complained that Republicans supporting him are withholding key records from Kavanaugh's time as Bush's staff secretary, which they wanted to use as a basis to question him.

"President Trump's decision to step in at the last moment and hide 100,000 pages of Judge Kavanaugh's records from the American public is not only unprecedented in the history of Supreme Court nominations, it has all the makings of a cover up", he said in a statement. In a release, the committee pointed out that Grassley had promised to facilitate the release of another set of documents, now available only to members, if senators keep their requests targeted to specific documents.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Democrat, expressed remorse that her party eviscerated the power of the filibuster five years ago, leaving them no path to stop Judge Kavanaugh, barring Republican defections.

"Democrats have more than enough information to understand that this is a highly qualified jurist that should be the next Supreme Court justice", Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, said in an interview on ABC's "This Week".

He said Senate Republicans and Trump "are colluding to keep".

Klobuchar said she thought it would be "much more powerful" if Democrats asked tough questions.

Because of the razor-thin margin in the Senate, the focus is on the 10 Democrats running for re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won just two years ago. After all, 71% of voters support Roe v. Wade, while Only 37% approve of a Brett Kavanaugh confirmation.

  • Tracy Klein