Senate Democrats on Judge Kavanaugh Documents CSPAN August 19, 2018 5:37pm-6:00pm EDT
sen. schumer: hi, everybody. welcome to the abbreviated week where two democrats and nine republicans did not show up. as of yesterday. >> you are the majority? [laughter] sen. schumer: yeah, that's right. we are. i'm happy to be joined by senatorblumenthal and whitehouse, both 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
in the bush administration in a job that kevin himself said was formative and instructive as preparation for being a judge. those are his words. meanwhile, the small percentage of documents are being prescreened by a republican operative who not only worked for kavanaugh in the bush administration, so this is -- kavanaugh's someone who reported to him but currently represented defendant, reince priebus and don mcgahn. if this seems shady, it 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 asked for all of the documents , and they 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 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. all the more reason that we need to know kavanaugh's record on these things, because kavanaugh has said so many negative things about limiting presidential power and holding presidents accountable. so it matters what brett kavanaugh thinks about this, may come to case
the civil 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 thinks. we have unprecedented in historic obstruction by senate republicans, and they used to demand transparency and we gave it to them. the issue is not how many documents but the percentage. we gave them all of kagan's documents. we get them all of sotomayor's documents. they are giving us 7% of kavanaugh's documents. the question that looms what's -- 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 as 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." no! he held back all the circuit court nominees to the d.c. circuit, so there were four vacancies. this has been his history all along, and he regarded it as a proud moment 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 . in any case, we 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 the nominee to the supreme court who will yield immense influence on her life. to this point, a new cnn poll the last half hour found only a quarter of those polled, we senate democrats have enough kavanaugh ton 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 kavanaugh's record. let me turn it over to senator house, and then senator blumenthal will talk about his -- oh, senator blumenthal. thank you. sen. blumenthal: 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 , and when i say concealing of documents, it's literally hiding documents. from a relevant period in the nominee's professional career. not only obstructive but what he
instructive but what he called the most instructive period 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 these documents to do our job, literally to perform our constitutional duty to thoughtfully and deliberately consider this nomination and to ask insightful questions during the hearing and to decide how to vote. the request we've done, the freedom of information act requests, 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 will 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 argument we have a right to expedite the production of these documents. so, question really here is -- what are they afraid of the american people seeing? it's not enough that members of our committee see these documents. the american 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. sen. schumer: senator blumenthal. >> or whitehouse. [laughter] en. schumer: i a i'm sorry.
i'm pleased i made it to introduce to the next person that i introduced the wrong person. sen. whitehouse: for not having been attorney general with senator blumenthal, i take any confusion with him 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 supreme 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. that is a very telling fact in the present state of affairs. throw in the materials that we will be getting as senators, will be given to us, so-called 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, to 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 rhode islander. we have oceans right offshore. we 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 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
the federalist society, who 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 be spending so much money and talking the republicans to change all these well-established procedures unless there was not something gimmicky going on here? so we have a lot to look at, and it makes it all is more important in these circumstances that the american access has full record. thank you very much, and particular thanks to senator blumenthal for his leadership on the foia issue. it's a sad state of affairs when that is the method senators have to resort to to get access to
these documents. >> questions? [inaudible] >> what would you achieve? sen. schumer: well, look, these documents should be made public regardless and quickly. hopefully the archives will exceed. if you read with the archives said, you can see that he was upset with what the republicans and the bush library is doing. we hope they will release those documents soon so the american people can see them. but regardless, they ought to come to light. sen. blumenthal: and there's a chance that there's -- once we get them, we can see preliminary relief or injunction that turns over at 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 these documents, this white house should have already reviewed every one of these documents before they nominated brett kavanaugh. that is what vetting does. they go through all the documents. they should all the collected with the push of a button -- literally -- in this computer age. they can turn over part or all of the documents. the claim that somehow there is difficulty in reviewing them a , a lot of these request they can do literally with pressing a button. sen. schumer: we hope they will want to avoid a lawsuit, the archivists. >> can we get your reaction to the president stripping the security status? look, when you're
in trouble in one way and you create trouble for yourself in another way, i don't think that is one of the president's 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. >> some of the members of your caucus party have said that they will vote against kavanaugh no matter what. it doesn't matter what other documents -- the american people are entitled and if the stock is not, it will persuade others to vote against him, including some of the republican side. >> [inaudible] mcconnell talked about health care.
you said you would make this month about healthcare. but it doesn't seem like this is a discussion on healthcare. sen. schumer: the two issues or three issues were focusing on , and one of them is healthcare. the kavanaugh nomination is here, but we are focusing on health care. 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 has happened in the last week. we are focused on health care. >> [inaudible] we have not tried to solicit everyone in the caucus, but i think there's legislation -- ok, glad. go ahead. sen. blumenthal: we have every
member of the judiciary committee has signed this request, and i can't give you every democrat in the judiciary committee is on these request. we limited it to the judiciary committee, but we are the ones in the first instance. sen. schumer: i'm sure you have the overwhelming support. sen. blumenthal: and people since then have asked and will make it available. sen. schumer: tom. >> [inaudible] that undermine -- sen. schumer: i think his legitimacy is being undermined already by the fact that they have refused to release documents, because the american people, as we saw in the cnn poll, are wondering why and the logical answer is the answer that we hear a lot with this a administration, and that is that they are hiding something. if i have thel:
opportunity to meet with him, i will ask with why aren't you supporting -- sen. schumer: i will meet with him next week, and i will ask 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] sen. schumer: ask the american people getting the full declaration of what kavanaugh 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 does not mean we are grasping the draws to make it right. again, we're not just talking about it, but we walked the walk. las they demanded the same thing. last question. >> [inaudible] sen. schumer: as i've said over
and over again, and i said again, if we can make convinced judgeerican people that kavanaugh, 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. >> supreme court judge brett on septembertifies 4. the courtly sits on of appeals. chairman grassley expects it to last three or four days. once on c-span, c-span.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. tonight on "after words," retired marine corps general
kate germano. she is interviewed by "new york times" reporter taught south. -- todd south. todd: this is not really cater to in terms of the developer going into boot camp, coming out of boot camp. how does it affect the perception by your colleagues? are slowerar men that told that they are women, that they are the p-word, so it becomes normal to say derogatory things about women. that is part of the dilemma that women have in the marine corps wednesday graduate -- when they graduate. tonight oner words" c-span at 9:00 p.m. eastern. the c-span bus has arrived by for the 39th stop
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>> our guest on c-span's newsmaker this week's maryland senator chris van hollen. he has the responsibility for the democrats and is hoping to turn the senate blew the selection cycle. democrats are defending play six seats this time around. 10 in states that the president won in 2016. senator, thank you for being here.