National Archives rebuffs Dems request for Kavanaugh documents

TheHill | 8/3/2018 | Jordain Carney
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The Democratic push to get documents from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's work in the George W. Bush administration ran into a new roadblock on Friday.

The National Archives, in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), said it will only respond to a request for documents under the Presidential Records Act (PRA) if they come from a committee chairman, who are all Republicans.

National - Archives - Records - PRA - Access

The National Archives and Records “remains unable to respond to PRA special access requests from ranking minority members,” wrote Archivist David Ferriero, who was appointed by former President Obama.

Schumer and Ferriero spoke on the phone earlier this week about how the National Archives handles documents request from committee Democrats, who are in the minority in the Senate.

Conversation - Minority - Staff - Judiciary - Committee

“In our conversation, you noted that the minority staff of the Judiciary Committee believe that the special access section of the PRA could be interpreted to include requests from the ranking minority member. You then asked if I would seek a new interpretation of this provision,” Ferriero noted in his letter to Schumer.

But Ferriero added that after consultations between the National Archives general counsel and the Justice Department they determined that a documents request “must be from the chair (or the committee itself), unless specifically delegated by the committee to the ranking minority member.”

Spokesman - Schumer - Request - Comment - Letter

A spokesman for Schumer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

The rebuff from the National Archives comes as the fight over work from Kavanaugh's time in the...
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