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Home / US / For Kavanaugh, a "formative" job, but for senators, few records are available

For Kavanaugh, a "formative" job, but for senators, few records are available

Kavanaugh, now President Donald Trump's candidate to the Supreme Court, said he was affected by the "monstrosity of everything," a hectic series of days associated with the destruction in New Orleans and more than 1,000 related deaths. one of the darkest notes on Bush's domestic efforts. These days also led to the election of John Roberts as successor to William Rehnquist, who died on September 3, 2005.

In a 2015 speech, Kavanaugh claimed that he spent nearly six years with Bush, "especially my three years as a secretary – one of the most interesting and formative" in his development to be a judge. Kavanaugh said in March 2015 at Marquette University that this week in early September was "one of the worst weeks of the Bush presidency".

However, presidential reports on Kavanaugh's crucial time as Bush's bar secretary are not available to senators starting a confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Even the records released from Kavanaugh's three years as a White House lawyer are essentially meager.

A CNN review of the documents revealed that many are elements of the proliferation of schedules, "topics of conversation" and announcements and news clippings. Personal emails are often trivial or cryptic. Some are also edited or the entire chain of answers is missing. Of about 270,000 pages published so far, a CNN analysis reveals that only about 3% contain e-mails that were apparently written by Kavanaugh himself.

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Overall, the documents add little to the portrait of an individual highest for a lifelong appointment Court of the nation is ready.

Chairman of the Senate Justice Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who has limited the documents that were requested for release from the National Archives, have argued that the focus on Kavanaughs 12 years as a judge at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit should lie. Grassley said earlier this month that the job of chief of staff was "a non-legal position and would not reveal anything about Judge Kavanaugh's legal thinking."

The committee's top democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, has responded that Secretariat staff "are critical to understanding his knowledge of and involvement in torture, listening and signing, to name only a few key issues "The National Archives, which keeps a record of the president, said it has followed his long-standing practice to answer only documentary requests from the chairman of the committee, no matter which party is in power.

The controversy could perhaps be seen as a kind of side show in the politically polarized confirmation process. However, the result is a big gap in the public understanding of a lawyer who has been one of the key jobs in the White House during one of the most important times for the country.

A president's personnel secretary who oversees the flow of information to the executive may serve as one of his most trusted political advisors, and although he is not a well-known position, he was led by well-known strategists such as John Podesta, secretary to President Bill Clinton.

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During his time at the Bush White House, Kavanaugh was involved in a rigorous selection of candidates involved in the powerful US appeals courts. He told the audience that when he and other lawyers started in early 2001, the setting was "Pedal to the Metal". His tenure included several controversial candidates, including some who were blocked by the Democrat Democrats, and two appointees who eventually made it to the DC Circuit Roberts Supreme Court and Neil Gorsuch, whom Bush placed at the 10th Circuit in Denver and whom Trump appealed to the Supreme Court last year.

But the records he received from his days as White House Advisor do not suggest Kavanaugh's work in this area. There is no window in his views of competing candidates for prominent positions or his strategic thinking when certain Bush decisions have been obstructed by Senate Democrats.

The current White House advisor, Don McGahn, has shown how much this office can help in executing the president's broader agenda with the selection of leading conservative thinkers for the bank. McGahn contributed Trump's selection of Kavanaugh as successor to Judge Anthony Kennedy.

Among domestic controversies over Katrina and judicial appointments during Kavanaugh's term, Bush also wrestled with the post-September 11 anti-terror policy. Kavanaugh's role in Bush's policy of imprisoning and suspecting terrorist suspects will surely be raised in the Senate hearings. Some Democratic Senators have already accused him of misrepresenting his involvement in such matters when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2006 for his current seat on the DC Circuit.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said Kavanaugh testified "exactly," adding, "He was not involved in drafting legal guidelines that set the rules for the detention of combatants."

Fight over Documents Are Perennial

Documents from the work of a nominee behind the scenes of the government may make his thinking more insightful than published statements and the carefully choreographed public testimonies of the Senate.

Kavanaugh has observed in public speeches that his work in the Bush administration was linked to disputes over executive acts. Such a clash occurred during Roberts Bush nomination in 2005, first as Sandra Day O & Connor's successor and then as Chief Justice after Rehnquist's death.

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Bush's appointment to associate justice was underway when Rehnquist died in the midst of the Katrina tragedy. Bush decided to make Roberts boss. Bush then selected White House Advisor Harriet Miers for the O & # 39; Connor vacancy. When conservatives protested that they had no credentials, Bush turned to Samuel Alito, confirmed in January 2006.

No documents have been published regarding Kavanaugh's work on these nominations.

In the 2005 Roberts Acts, the White House ensured the production of the candidate's records from his years in the Reagan administration, where Roberts served first as Special Assistant to the Attorney General and then in the White House Legal Department.

Democratic senators also had documents from Roberts & # 39; time sought a deputy advocate general in the George HW Bush administration. These were held back when the Bush administration characterized his work in the US Attorney General's Office, which represents the government before the Supreme Court, as similar to working for a client. Such documents were also withheld by the Barack Obama administration when former Advocate General Elena Kagan was nominated for the Supreme Court in 2010. (She had also served at Clinton White House, and these materials were published during her confirmation hearing.) [196592002] The extensive Reagan documents revealed Robert's thoughts on race issues, women's rights, abortion, and religious freedom. All were interviewed by the Senate. Despite some controversy over his conservative stance in memos, Roberts was confirmed 78-22.

President Bush credits Kavanaugh for selecting Roberts when Bush was first torn to a successor to O & Connor.

Bush was focused on Court Courts Roberts, then on the DC Circuit, Alito, at the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, and Michael Luttig, then at the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit. "Brett told me that Luttig, Alito, and Roberts would all be solid judges," Bush said in his memoir, "Decision Points." "The tiebreaker question he proposed was which man would be the most effective leader in the court – the most able to convince his colleagues by persuasion and strategic thinking." Bush said he believes that this would be Roberts.

Two months later, when Rehnquist died abruptly, he quickly decided to change the nomination for Roberts, who had received early positive reviews from individual senators but had not begun Senate confirmation hearings.] Kavanaugh is more than a reliable voice for the rights "src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180709214956-10-potus-scotus-0709-small-169.jpg "src-xsmall =" // cdn.cnn. com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 180709214956-10-potus-scotus-0709-medium-plus-169.jpg "src-small =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180709214956-10 -potus-scotus-0709-large-169.jpg "src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180709214956-10-potus-scotus-0709-exlarge-169.jpg "src large = "// cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180709214956-10-potus-scotus-0709-super-169.jpg" src-full16x9 = "// cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/ assets / 180709214956-10-potus-scotus-0709-full-169.jpg "src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180709214956-10-potus-scotus-0709-small-11 .jpg "data-demand-load =" not-loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "/>

Kavanaugh, for his part, recounted the mad hours after he had become aware of Rehnquist's death late on a Saturday night. "I was responsible for rushing to the White House immediately, contacting the President, issuing a written statement from the President right away, and working with the speechwriters to prepare the President's remarks," he said last year. "When we met with the President at the Oval Office on Sunday morning, it was not long before President John Roberts was nominated for the Rehnquist vacancy," Kavanaugh said.

The next morning, Bush announced Roberts (19659002) Then, Kavanaugh said, "we all made another trip to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast … The enormity of everything – Katrina, Rehnquist, Roberts – always hits me nor when I think of it in retrospect. "

CNN's Aaron Kessler has contributed to this report.

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