The battle over President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh is continuing. Although his public confirmation hearings have concluded, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are continuing to press for key information related to the judicial nominee. This week, they sought an array of subpoenas pressing for documents covering a range from his views on torture to his views on executive power, but Senate Republicans — who hold the committee majority — blocked those requests.
The subpoena efforts follow a lengthy controversy over some documents covering his past political work that have been withheld from scrutiny. That controversy threatened to derail Kavanaugh’s public confirmation hearings from the get-go, with Democrats seeking to adjourn over their lack of ability to fully scrutinize the judge’s past.
That figured into the Thursday Democratic subpoena requests. Senators Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) both sought, with their proposed subpoena, documents covering Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush White House that the Trump administration has kept secret, citing “constitutional privilege” — which Whitehouse noted is a seemingly newly made-up term.
- Chris Coons of Delaware wanted documents from the National Archives covering Kavanaugh’s views on executive power — meaning what vulnerability a sitting president has to investigations
- Dick Durbin of Illinois sought material covering Kavanaugh’s views on torture and his role in the Bush administration’s use of it
- Mazie Hirono of Hawaii wanted information covering Kavanaugh’s past work on Native Hawaiian, Alaskan Native and Native American issues
- Dianne Feinstein of California wanted seemingly all “records from Judge Kavanaugh’s service as staff secretary in the White House from 2003 to 2006”
- Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut wanted to subpoena former Bush administration and Senate officials over a theft of files from Senate Democrats Kavanaugh has been tied to
Republicans blocked all of those efforts.
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