Giving proof to what progressive critics and Democratic lawmakers have said has been a shamefully non-transparent process from the start, Republicans lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary committee declared Monday night that they were able to thoroughly examine over 42,000 documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in under three hours.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted at 8:13 PM that senators were "just given an additional 42,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents the NIGHT BEFORE his confirmation hearing" and that "not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow."
The Senate was just given an additional 42,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents the NIGHT BEFORE his confirmation hearing. This underscores just how absurd this process is. Not a single senator will be able to review these records before tomorrow.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 4, 2018
However, it was less than three hours before the Republicans who control the Senate Judiciary hearing declared at 10:50 PM that their "staff has now completed its review of each and every one of these pages."
The legislative and super-human accomplishment immediately raised eyebrows:
How did you review 43,000 pages of documents in a few hours? As an American Citizen I demand to know.
— Free Mario C (@mgcarbonell1) September 4, 2018
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"This isn't a SCOTUS confirmation – it's a charade," declared Sen. Elizabeth Warren, referring to the GOP-controlled process.
The Republicans, added Schumer, "know this has been the least transparent SCOTUS process in history and the hearings should be delayed until we can fully review Judge Kavanaugh’s records."
The first day of hearings, however, was not delayed—as statements and testimony began Tuesday morning—but Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) used his first moments to once more decry the lack of transparency on the part of the Trump administration and his Republican colleagues:
Sen. Dick Durbin: "We waited for more than year with a vacancy on the Supreme Court under the direction of your leader in the U.S. Senate...That we cannot take a few days or weeks to have a complete review of Judge Kavanaugh's record is unfair to the American people." pic.twitter.com/0nbrc7nq7q
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 4, 2018
As the Washington Post reports:
No information was released on the subject matter of the documents, and Bush’s lawyer asked that they be kept from the public, made available only to committee members and staff.
Kavanaugh, appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by Bush, served the president in the White House Counsel’s Office from 2001 to 2003 and as staff secretary from 2003 to 2006.
William A. Burck, a lawyer representing Bush, said in a letter to Grassley that the 5,148 documents totaling 42,390 pages retrieved from the National Archives were to be treated as “committee confidential,” with access limited to Judiciary Committee members and staff with no public availability, at least for the time being.