The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court began on September 4 with hundreds of thousands of documents from Kavanaugh’s past positions in the George W. Bush administration withheld from senators’ scrutiny. Democrats on the committee highlighted this attack on transparency as the hearing began by protesting Republicans’ refusal to provide the requested documents.
Although the Trump administration and Republican committee members have blocked access to numerous Kavanaugh documents, the show Fox News at Night broadcast, without questioning, a White House statement that its Kavanaugh nomination process is the most “comprehensive, thorough and transparent review of any nomination for the Supreme Court in U.S. history.” From the September 12 edition of Fox News at Night:
TRACE GALLAGHER (FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT): Despite Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh answering 32 hours of questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee, it appears, as you say, committee members are still a bit curious, because they submitted an additional 1,287 questions in writing. That’s the most ever by a mile. For example, last year, Neil Gorsuch got 324 questions in writing. In 1991, Clarence Thomas got 18. And of the 1,287 written questions, 1,278 were from Democrats, including Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse wanting to know if Kavanaugh has a gambling problem. Turns out Kavanaugh’s 2016 financial disclosure showed more debt than positive investments, and the White House attributed that to him buying baseball tickets for friends who had not yet reimbursed him. Sen. Whitehouse wanted the names of the friends and more detail. Judge Kavanaugh responded, saying he buys season tickets every year for the Washington Nationals, divides the tickets between old friends, and they pay him back. Face value, no more, no less.
But the onslaught of questions prompted Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley to release a statement reading, quote: "Submitting this many written questions appears to be just one more effort to gum up the process. It’s unnecessary and dilatory, especially when many have already decided to vote against Judge Kavanaugh. What more do they need to know to vote no?”
The White House also released a statement calling the process the most, quote, “comprehensive, thorough and transparent review of any nomination for the Supreme Court in U.S. history.”
Meantime, Sen. Cory Booker has released more committee confidential documents about Judge Kavanaugh's time in the George W. Bush White House. And the conservative group Judicial Watch has filed a complaint to the Senate Ethics Committee, saying Booker has violated Senate rules and could be expelled.