House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler is reportedly looking to launch an investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh amid allegations of potential wrongdoing he may have committed while serving in the George W. Bush administration.
According to Politico, Nadler, Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson and another unidentified senior member of the Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to the National Archives requesting they release a “large cache of records.”
Kavanaugh served as a staff secretary from June 6, 2003, to May 30, 2006.
From the report:
The effort reopens a debate over Kavanaugh’s nomination, which became the subject of fierce partisan rancor during his confirmation hearings last year after Kavanaugh faced allegations of sexual assault.
Democrats also argued they lacked access to records pertaining to Kavanaugh’s government work that were important to his qualifications. Ultimately, the Senate supported his nomination along nearly partisan lines, but Democrats vowed to continue seeking records about his background.
Nadler and Johnson emphasized that the Senate only received a sliver of Kavanaugh’s records from his White House tenure, which ran from 2001 to 2006, when he served in the White House counsel’s office and later as staff secretary.
Nadler and company are reportedly interested in learning the full scope of Kavanaugh’s influence in the Bush administration and whether or not he would be fair to asses issues like abortion rights, executive authority issues, or other topics.
The Democrats seeking the information claim they are not abusing their majority status because, as they argue, the information will become publicly available in 2021 under the Presidential Records Act. Should Democrats lose their majority in the House in 2020, they would be forced to wait so it could be argued they are seeking advantageous treatment.
Politico reports the top Republican on the committee opposes the request and said it amounts to “harassment”:
The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee ripped Nadler’s push as “harassment” of Kavanaugh.
“Chairman Nadler’s request is so far outside the scope of judicial ethics, it’s harassment,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.). “Senate Democrats spent months launching false accusations in an attempt to smear Justice Kavanaugh’s reputation and block his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now House Democrats want to follow suit with yet another fishing expedition to tarnish his good name.”
Jerry Nadler is moving to bring new scrutiny to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s pasthttps://t.co/vYYFu7hfht
— POLITICO (@politico) August 7, 2019