Through a spokeswoman, the Department of Justice took responsibility for withholding over 100,000 pages of documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s review of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s record, according to a Monday Buzzfeed News report.
The admission only adds to Democrats’ frustration with the confirmation process. It’s also unusual that lawyers from the office of former President George W. Bush have been reviewing and releasing records outside of the normal process involving the National Archives.
“[T]he White House and the Department of Justice have identified certain documents of the type traditionally protected by constitutional privilege,” said lead Bush lawyer William Burck. “The White House, after consultation with the Department of Justice, has directed that we not provide these documents for this reason.”
Per Buzzfeed News, though the Bush legal team could force the White House to validate the privilege it’s using to keep the records private, Burck has made it clear that they will follow the Trump administration’s lead.
“[W]e have deferred to the White House, in consultation with the Department of Justice, on any documents not provided on constitutional privilege grounds,” he added.