Bennet wants Kavanaugh confirmation halted until FBI investigates new allegations

 

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.

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