House Judiciary Committee Makes A Move Against Justice Brett Kavanaugh

By Susan Jones | August 7, 2019 | 6:06am EDT
Brett Kavanaugh is sworn-in as Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on October 8, 2018 at the White House. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The House Judiciary Committee, hell-bent on investigating and ultimately impeaching President Donald Trump, is continuing the Democrat campaign against Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

In an August 6 letter to the National Archives, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and one of the subcommittee chairs, Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), asked the National Archives to “complete its review of certain presidential records related to Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s service in the White House from 2001 to 2006 and provide these records to the committee.”

Why?

Nadler and Johnson say the Judiciary Committee not only has “investigative and oversight authority” with respect to federal courts and judges – but the Committee is “considering legislative proposals to create a code of conduct for Supreme Court Justices.”

Nadler and Johnson note the Judiciary Committee has reviewed “other proposals in recent years regarding transparency in the Supreme Court’s proceedings, the adequacy of the Justices’ financial disclosures, and the circumstances in which Justices or judges must disqualify themselves from cases.”

In other words, having failed to torpedo his nomination, Democrats are now looking for ways to prevent Kavanaugh, by disqualifying him, from doing his job as a sitting Supreme Court justice.

During his confirmation hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee “received only a small fraction of Justice Kavanaugh’s White House record,” the letter says. But now that the National Archives has finished processing those records, the House Judiciary Committee wants all of them, specifically:

-- Emails sent to or received by Justice Kavanaugh, including emails on which he was a carbon copy or blind carbon copy recipient, during the period in which Justice Kavanaugh served as Staff Secretary (2003-2006), including any documents attached to such emails; and

-- The textual records contained in Justice Kavanaugh’s office files from the period during which he served as Staff Secretary.

The letter asks the National Archives to produce the documents on a ‘rolling basis” beginning with records related to Kavanaugh’s service in the White House Counsel’s Office (2001-2003).

It said the committee will “work with” the Archives to provide search terms that will “prioritize” the production of documents records related to Kavanaugh’s service as Staff Secretary.

And if any record is withheld on claims of privilege – “please describe each document by date, author(s), addressee(s), recipient(s), title, and subject matter, and set forth the nature of the claimed privilege with respect to each,” the two Democrats wrote.

The final line explains what a Herculean task this will be: “We recognize that reviewing the archives and producing these documents is a significant task, and thank you in advance for your efforts.”

The House Judiciary Committee has nothing to do with Supreme Court nominations.

The task of confirming Supreme Court nominees falls to the Senate Judiciary Committee and then the full Senate.

And it’s on that basis that President Trump should instruct the National Archives to refuse the House committee’s document request, former Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Yoo told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Tuesday:

 

“I actually hope President Trump here says, don't produce the documents,” Yoo said.

And he's got a good ally on this and that's George Washington. This is a principle that our country has lived under for over 200 years. The House wanted to get from George Washington documents about a treaty, and George Washington said no because the House is not involved in ratifying treaties.

The same principle applies here. President Trump should say, last time I looked at the Constitution, the House is not involved with confirming Supreme Court judges. Because of that, you have no right to the information about Kavanaugh's background, because you have no constitutional function here.

So if I was President Trump I'd say no on the documents, and I'd say that my good friend George Washington is the precedent that shows I'm right.

 

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