House Dems Request Kavanaugh's Bush-Era Records

Dems 'received only a small fraction of Justice Kavanaugh's White House record before voting' on nomination

Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh / Getty Images
August 6, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee is officially requesting records from Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's time in the White House counsel's office during former president George W. Bush's administration.

A letter signed by committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) and subcommittee chairman Rep. Hank Johnson, Jr. (D., Ga.) made the request. The committee intends to review thousands of documents from Kavanaugh's time with the administration, presumably to investigate whether Kavanaugh engaged in any misconduct or misrepresented his actions under oath.

"In the coming year, the Supreme Court will again address important matters regarding civil rights, criminal justice, and immigration. The Court may also review certain high-profile cases related to reproductive rights, the separation of powers, and the limits of executive authorityall topics within the jurisdiction of the House Judiciary Committee," the letter read.

The letter claims "the Senate Judiciary Committee received only a small fraction of Justice Kavanaugh's White House record before voting on his nomination."

The committee is requesting "emails sent to or received by Justice Kavanaugh, including emails on which he was a carbon copy or blind carbon copy recipient, during the period in which Justice Kavanaugh served as Staff Secretary, including any documents attached to such emails" and "the textual records contained in Justice Kavanaugh's office files from the period during which he served as Staff Secretary," according to the letter.

Progressive groups have been pressuring the committee for months to access the records from the years 2001 to 2006. They have also pushed the committee to investigate the personal financial debt Kavanaugh that the Trump White House said was the result of baseball ticket purchases and home renovations.

This is not the first time Democrats have attempted to muddy Kavanaugh's judgeship over his work for the Bush Administration.

During the initial set of hearings over Kavanaugh's confirmation, Democrats repeatedly interrupted proceedings claiming they had not had enough time to sufficiently review Kavanaugh's records from the Bush Administration. Every single Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, with the exception of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Ca.), requested the hearing be delayed in order to review the documents. The requests were rejected.

Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) made a now-famous gaffe when he said he would release "confidential" documents from Kavanaugh's past, saying that it was his "Spartacus moment" despite the fact that Booker was not actually breaking any rules.