The Senate Judiciary Committee’s first hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh got underway Tuesday, but some Democratic senators are already calling for its adjournment, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN).
At the center of Tuesday’s chaotic start is a mountain of documents pertaining to the nominee’s time in the Bush administration, which Republicans are withholding under executive privilege.
“Here at Supreme Court hearing. I’ve requested that we postpone the hearing so we can obtain 100,000 documents about the nominee that have been kept secret by [the] White House,” Klobuchar tweeted Tuesday morning, saying executive privilege “has never been invoked to shield docs in [a] Supreme Court hearing.”
Here at Supreme Court hearing. I’ve requested that we postpone the hearing so we can obtain 100,000 documents about the nominee that have been kept secret by White House. Exec privilege has never been invoked to shield docs in Supreme Court hearing including for Roberts & Kagan.
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) September 4, 2018
Klobuchar also expressed frustration over receiving 42,000 documents the night before the hearing, calling it a “Monday night document massacre.”
“That means you bury your inquiring senators in 42,000 more Kavanaugh documents the night before the hearing starts. I work late and read fast but not even I could read them before we start,” she continued, calling for the hearings to be postponed.
At the hearing, Klobuchar expressed her agreement with Sen. Kamala Harris, who said the hearings “cannot possibly move forward.”
“I agree with my colleague, Senator Harris. Mr. Chairman, we received 42,000 documents that we haven’t been able to review, last night. And we believe this hearing should be postponed,” Klobuchar suggested, receiving support from her Minnesota colleague, Sen. Tina Smith.
In a Sept. 1 tweet, Smith claimed that “President Bush’s own attorney authorized the release of 100,000 pages of documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House.”
She later acknowledged that “Bush’s lawyer deferred to the Trump administration” on a decision “to not release the pages,” but still called the development “deeply troubling.”
Tuesday’s hearing was disrupted by several protesters, who called the process a “travesty of justice.” The demonstrators were eventually removed from the room by security personnel.
The Minnesota Sun reached out to both Smith and Klobuchar, but neither responded in time for publication.