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Charles Schumer
  Senate Democrats on Judge Kavanaugh Documents  CSPAN  August 16, 2018 4:34pm-4:54pm EDT

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for former senator paul laxalt. >> the senate today confirmed marvin quattlebaum and julius richardson to the court of appeals in virginia. they also started work on an 857 billion dollar 2019 spending package that would combine the two largest annual operations bill, defense and labor hhs and education. for debate on the bill expected next week follow lives in a coverage here on c-span2. senate minority leader chuck schumer said democrats stand ready to sue the national archives where documents regarding supreme court nominee judge brett kavanaugh's work in the white house during the george w. bush administration. he and senators richard blumenthal and sheldon whitehouse spoke with reporters earlier today.
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>> hello everybody. welcome to the abbreviated week for two democrats and non- daca republicans did not show up. as of yesterday. yeah, that's right. we are. i'm happy to be joined by senator blumenthal's and white house from the senate judiciary committee. for weeks republicans have been deliberately withholding the entire record of judge kavanaugh's three years as dust secretary, most senior position held in the bush and ministration in a job that kevin himself said was formative and instructive as preparation for being a judge. those are his words.
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meanwhile, the small percentage of documents are being prescreened by a republican operative who not only worked for cavanaugh in the bush and ministration so this is cavanaugh's someone who reported to him but currently represented defendant, rinse previous and don mccann. if this seems shady is because it is. even worse at the moment one third of the documents the judiciary committee had are being deemed as committee confidential, in other words, we ask for all of the documents in the first said you are only going to get those of counsel, not those is that secretary event though there more important. then they had a republic in operative screen which counsel documents today sent to the judiciary committee and now senator grassley has said we can
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see all of those. he is saying the judiciary committee is making a determination that about 60000 can only be seen by judiciary committee members and only in private and not allowed to tell anybody what is in them. this is outrageous. i have to say senator grassley is somebody who's a decent man but he is not holding up the flag of the senate in an admirable way by what they are doing rudy giuliani yesterday declared that the united states might not comply with the subpoena and all the more reason that we need to know cavanaugh's record on these things because cavanaugh has said so many negative things about limiting presidential power in holding presidents accountable. it matters what. per capita things about this is the case they come to the civil
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court relatively soon. before we elevate someone to the civil court we may have to rule on the issue of presidential subpoenas, the senate and the american people deserve to know what the nominee thanks. we have unprecedented in historic obstruction by senate republicans and they use to demand transparency and we gave it to him. the issue is not how many documents but the percentage. we gave them all of kagan's documents and all of the mayor's commands and they are giving us 7% of cavanaugh's documents. the question that looms what's in the 93% they don't want to show us. that is what is happening here. so, because republicans have chosen [inaudible] over transparent the democrats on the judiciary committee led by senator blumenthal a foia request to the national archives seeking the full gamut of his records including his time is
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that secretary. we much rather follow the bipartisan process been around for years, mitch mcconnell is tearing down all of the bipartisan parts of approving judicial nominees. one after the other after the other after the other. supreme court, blue slips, documents and he's really not serving the senate well either. oh well, you started it back then. he held back all the circuit court nominees to the dc circuit so there were four vacancies. this is been hissing all along and he regarded it as a problem it in his history as a leader, i would say it's one of the worst moments in his history as leader and that's how history will show up in any case, so, we are -- we
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would much rather follow the bipartisan process and were not just talking the talk but walking the walk when we were in the majority. now republican obstruction requires an expert in your response and that's why we're making this request. today, we are announcing that we stand ready to sue the national archives for judge kavanaugh's phone records if necessary if the foia request is not granted. the american people deserve a methodical and thorough examination of anomaly to the spring court who will yield immense influence on her life. to this point, a new cnn poll the last of our fun only a quarter of those polled we senate democrats have enough information on caps off to vote now. it's clear republicans talking points are falling on deaf ears and they seem intent on denying to the american people that basic right and with the suit we could finally shine some light on cavanaugh's record. let me turn it over to senator
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white house and then all, senator blumenthal will talk about his two. >> thank you. thank you for your leadership on this. this foia request is a last resort it is unprecedented because this concealing of documents is unprecedented and when i say concealing of documents it's literally hiding documents from irrelevant. in his nominee professional career. not only an instructive but what he called the most instructive. of his professional life. three years as staff secretary to the president of the united states. the chairman has shattered all the norms and potentially violating the law but we need
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these documents to do our job, literally to perform our constitutional duty to thoughtfully and deliberately consider this nomination and to ask insightful question during the hearing and to decide how to vote. the request we've done their freedom of information act request are two nine separate offices, principally the national archives. i am prepared to go to court and they have 20 days to respond we will be ready to go to court. i still have hope that they wi will, in fact, comply, and provide the documents we need independently of the chairman of the judiciary committee as they have an obligation to do two members of congress just like to the public. in fact, there's a pretty good
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argument we have a right to expedite it production of these documents. so, question really here is what are they afraid of the american people seem. it's not enough that members of our committee see these documents the mac people have a right to see them as well. it's been the practice one nomination after another in recent history as long as there's an production of documents. there's no classified countermeasure information protected by privilege it should be made available in public to the american people. thank you. >> senator blumenthal or white house -- >> i'm sorry. i'm pleased i made it to introduce to the next person
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that i introduced the wrong person for not having been attorney general with senator blumenthal i take any confusion with them is a great complement. >> two of the most brilliant lawyers in the usa. >> so, we are now in a situation in which the best path for senators on the judiciary committee to get access to a nominee for the spring court record is through the public process and the committee process, for senators on the committee have forced us to go to the foia route which is available to the general public and that is a very telling fact in the present state of affairs. throw in the materials that we will be getting a senators will be given to us, so-called
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committee confidential, meaning the public will not have access to them and setting a trap for any inadvertent release of those documents finally, we have a complete variance from the past traditions of the senate in terms of what types of documents were provided for the committee about nominees. now, as leader schumer has pointed out you can add that to the blue slips into the changing of the hearing process, to the removal of the filibuster, to all the different ways in which the normal process of the senate has been subverted to push these nominees through. now, i'm a road islander and we haven't ocean off shortly spend time on our oceans and when you see weird swirls in the water you know something big is moving under the surface. these are weird swirls in the
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water. the question is, what is going on here? what is the big thing under the surface? i submit to you that you can find it in the special interest under the federalist society selected this nominee, the special interest funders behind the dark money that are already up on tv pushing for this nominee and the special interest private backroom deals that got this list together in the first place. why would big special interest in spending so much money and talking the republicans to change all these well-established procedures unless there was not something gimmicky going on here? it makes it all is more important that the american access has full record and particularly thanks to senator blumenthal for his leadership on the foyer issue. it's a sad state of affairs when that is the method senators have
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to resort to to get access to these documents. [inaudible] >> these documents should be made public regardless and quickly hopefully the archives will exceed -- you can see that he was upset we hope they will release those documents soon to the mac people can see them but regardless they ought to come to light. >> and there's a chance that there's -- once we get into sort we can see preliminary relief or injunction that turns over at
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least some of the documents and let me make one other point. it may be the most important point in response to any claim about difficulty in reviewing the documents this white house should have already reviewed every one of these documents before they nominated bret cavanagh and that is what betting does. they go through all the documents and all the collected with a push of a button in this computer age. they can turn over part or all of the doctrines. the claim that somehow there is difficulty in reviewing them a lot of these request they can do literally with pressing a button. >> we hope they will want to avoid a lawsuit, the archivist. >> to get your reaction to the resident [inaudible]
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>> what, when you're in trouble in one way and any great trouble for yourself in another way, i don't think that's of the presidents purposes. all these theories that he's trying to distract from one thing to move to another he's doing one bad thing and then doing another bad thing. i don't think that helps him. >> [inaudible] so the members of your caucus party has said they'll vote against caps off the matter what it doesn't matter what other documents -- >> the american people are titled and if the stock is not it will persuade others to vote against him, including some on their public inside. >> you know you -- >> i deposed cavanagh in 2006 for many of the same reasons. >> [inaudible] you said.
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later mcconnell announced they would talk about healthcare they would make this about healthcare. but it doesn't seem like this is a discussion on healthcare. >> the two issues or three issues were focusing on and one of them is healthcare. the cavanagh nomination is here but were focusing on healthcare last week if you read "the washington post", the paper that i know you have a great deal of respect for there was a story how democrats got the country talking about healthcare very successfully. go look at what is happened in the last week. >> we have not tried to solicit everyone in the caucus but i think there's legislation -- okay, glad. >> we have every member of the digital committee has signed this request and i can't give
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you every democrat in the judiciary committee is on these request. we limited it to the judiciary committee but were the ones in the first instance. >> i'm sure you have the overwhelming support. >> and people since then have asked and will make it availab available. >> tom. >> [inaudible] >> his legitimacy is being undermined already by the fact he refused to release documents because the mac people, as he saw in the cnn poll are wondering why and the logical answer is the answer that we hear a lot with this a ministration and they are hiding something. >> if i have the opportunity to
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meet with them i will ask with why aren't you supporting -- >> i will meet with him next week and asked him all about these documents what he intends to do about them. he can't duck them. this document, he should have said already he wants them released if he's an open, fair, wonderful man, supreme court justice that he's trying to betray himself to be. >> [inaudible] >> ask the american people getting the full degradation of what cavanagh believes is grasping at straws because they are rushing something through in a way that is, you know, just a dereliction of duty and what america is all about. it doesn't mean for grasping the draws to make it right. again, we're not just talking about it but we walked the walk. they demanded the same thing. last question.
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>> [inaudible] >> as i've said over and over again, and i said again, if we can make convinced the mega people that went judge cannot if he becomes justice would repeal health care particularly pre- existing conditions and would undo a woman's right to health freedom we will get a majority of bipartisan majority. >> walden well done. >> this week, booktv is in prime time. tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern microsoft president brad smith with the future computed, artificial intelligence and its role in society and on friday at 8:00 p.m. adam bellow and all points book talks about the machine others from both political right and left. watch the tv this week in prime time on c-span2.
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saturday morning at 1030 eastern booktv is live at the mississippi book festival for their fourth annual literary lawn party at the state capital in jackson with discussions on race and identity of the southern history, us politics and presidential leadership. others include cheryl author of loving and the threat to whites from the. jack davis with his pulitzer prize winning book the making of an american city. 25 saturday beginning at 1030 a.m. eastern on book tv for the mississippi book festival on c-span2. >> seth who had the university of denver center on american politics spoke at the us capitol historical soc y