People For the American Way

Of Course There Are No Bombshells in Records Pre-Screened by Kavanaugh’s Friends and Colleagues

News and Analysis
Of Course There Are No Bombshells in Records Pre-Screened by Kavanaugh’s Friends and Colleagues

More documents from Brett Kavanaugh’s tenure in the Bush White House keep trickling out. Much of the reporting has been like this Washington Post report:

A review of the latest trove revealed no obvious bombshells about Kavanaugh, the federal judge whose confirmation hearing is set for the first week in September.

Of course they don’t have bombshells! It’s Kavanaugh’s friends and colleagues who are deciding which documents will be released!

In times of normalcy, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee rely on the nonpartisan professionals at the National Archives to provide copies of a nominee’s records from a relevant presidential library.  The number of records relating to Kavanaugh is enormous, and the Archives has informed the Judiciary Committee that it cannot perform its search and review process until late October, at the earliest. (And Grassley refused to even request documents covering 60% of the nominee’s White House tenure, when he served as staff secretary.)

To speed things up (because God forbid we actually take the time necessary to fully vet a nominee for a lifetime seat on the nation’s most powerful court), former President Bush asked his personal attorney Bill Burck—who happens to be Kavanaugh’s former deputy and fellow partisan, as well as lawyer to White House Counsel Don McGahn, former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and former White House Advisor Steve Bannon—to pre-screen the limited set of Bush White House records that Grassley has requested and send the ones he himself says are relevant to the committee.

So of course they haven’t produced any bombshells. The whole point of this unprecedented and corrupt arrangement is to hide the bombshells.  With Grassley scheduling a hearing for early September and Mitch McConnell planning a confirmation vote before the Court’s term begins October 1, they plan for Kavanaugh to have his lifetime seat before any bombshells can be produced.

Some of the hidden records likely reinforce what we already know:

Kavanaugh has already demonstrated that he is an outcome-based partisan ideologue who bases his rulings on a political philosophy, not a judicial one, and his colleagues on the D.C. Circuit have criticized him for ignoring or distorting precedent. If elevated to the Supreme Court, he would not even have to pay lip service to precedents he disagrees with.

We know all this just from things he has said publicly.  His White House records, when he was working outside the public eye with fellow Republicans to advance far right policies, could truly contain “bombshells.”

Just what are they hiding?  It must be pretty bad if they’re concerned that what we already know about Kavanaugh isn’t scary enough.