Senate Democrats launched a powerful protest against the GOP’s unprecedented obstruction and secrecy about the record of Trump’s extremist Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
As the Senate Judiciary Committee began Kavanaugh’s first confirmation hearing Tuesday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) immediately interrupted the opening statements of committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to ask to be recognized for a question.
“The committee received just last night, less than 15 hours ago, 42,000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to review or read or analyze,” Harris said.
Those documents were especially important, the Washington Post reports, because they related to Kavanaugh’s service in the White House under George W. Bush — perhaps the most formative part of Kavanaugh’s legal career.
But in an unbelievable move, a team of Republican committee staff claimed just hours later that it had “completed its review of each and every one of these pages.”
Grassley objected that Harris was out of order, and tried to talk over her to read his prepared opening statement praising Kavanaugh.
Harris continued over Grassley’s objections, arguing that the senators “cannot possibly move forward” with the hearing because they haven’t had the chance to do their duty to evaluate Kavanaugh’s record by reviewing the latest document dump.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) jumped in to echo Harris’s points, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) officially moved for the hearing be adjourned.
“We have been denied real access to the documents we need to advise and consent, which turns this hearing into a charade and a mockery of our norms,” Blumenthal said. “And Mr. Chairman, I therefore move to adjourn this hearing.”
Shortly after the senators began speaking, protests erupted in the audience.
Numerous Democratic senators pointed out that they were not the ones out of order — Grassley and Republicans were, for making the unprecedented move to deny large amounts of information about a Supreme Court nominee to the minority committee members.
Trump’s Department of Justice also decided to withhold more than 100,000 pages of documents from both the Senate and public based on a claim of executive privilege — which has never been done before for a Supreme Court nominee.
Republicans and the Trump administration are denying Senate Democrats their constitutional duty to “advise and consent” to judicial nominees — but they aren’t letting that happen without a fight.
Published with permission of The American Independent.