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Bennet blasts ‘rush and secrecy,’ demands White House release full Kavanaugh record

Author: Ernest Luning - September 7, 2018 - Updated: September 7, 2018

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U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet discusses his demand that Senate Republicans and the White House make public documents involving Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, during a conference call with reporters from his Washington, D.C., office Sept. 6, 2018. (via video provided by Bennet office)

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on Thursday called on the Trump administration to make public Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s complete White House record before the Senate proceeds with considering whether to confirm the Supreme Court nominee.

“The rush and secrecy has left us to wonder what the White House is withholding from the American people,” Bennet and 18 other Democratic senators wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump’s chief counsel. “It should make the documents available for review.”

The battle over whether senators and the public will see millions of pages of documents produced by Kavanaugh during his tenure working for President George W. Bush has raged since the 53-year-old’s nomination in July — but it reached new levels this week as the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings.

“It looks like we’re having these partisan battles over nothing when there are huge things at stake here,” Bennet said in a conference call with reporters. “The point is, that information — all this information — should be available to the American people.”

Bennet pointed out that committee members have only been able to review an estimated 7 percent of the documents Kavanaugh created over the six years he worked at the White House — compared with 99 percent of Justice Elena Kagan’s White House records.

“The lack of complete information associated with this nomination is unprecedented and threatens to undermine the public’s confidence in a fair and impartial judiciary,” Bennet and the other senators wrote.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, Bennet’s Republican colleague, said in an interview with a Denver news station Thursday that the 480,000 pages released by the Trump administration already amount to “more documentation release than the past five supreme court justices combined.”

“That’s an incredible volume of records that have been released and I think a lot of the people who are opposing Judge Kavanaugh have already said that they will vote against Judge Kavanaugh,” Gardner said on KDVR-TV. “I think (Judiciary Committee) Chairman (Chuck) Grassley says, ‘How much do you need to know if you’re already voting no.’”

Senate Republicans have said they intend to seat Kavanaugh on the high court by Oct. 1, when its new term begins.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.