WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. Senate Democrat charged on Tuesday that Republicans were dragging their feet in obtaining the documents needed to properly vet President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, but Republicans countered that the demand was designed to delay a Senate vote.
“If Judge (Brett) Kavanaugh is the right man for the bench that the Republicans say he is, if he’s a fair-minded jurist that they claim he is, why are Republicans hiding his full record from the Senate and from the American people?” Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, told reporters.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking to reporters ahead of Schumer, said no “delaying tactic” would push a Senate vote on the nominee near to or after the Nov. 6 congressional elections.
“We’re going to finish this nomination this fall, so let there be no misunderstanding,” McConnell said.
Democrats say there are potentially up to a million pages of documents to review in relation to Kavanaugh’s record as a federal judge, his work assisting then-Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s investigation of former Democratic President Bill Clinton, and Kavanaugh’s role in George W. Bush’s White House.
Schumer said Democrats were requesting the same documents Republicans did when they vetted now Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who was nominated by former Democratic President Barack Obama after serving in the Clinton administration.
“What we’re asking for is the very same thing that they asked for, nothing more, nothing less,” Schumer said.
Reporting by Amanda Becker; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by David Alexander and Peter Cooney