Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee seriously mulled staging a walkout of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, which began Tuesday.
Instead of boycotting the proceedings, Democratic lawmakers urged the committee to adjourn just moments after the panel was called to order, and spent the better part of an hour making the case for a deferred hearing.
“We considered a lot of different options yesterday,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin told Politico. “This was the agreed approach. It really singles this hearing out as something unusual.”
The Democratic effort was supplemented by chants and jeers from progressive activists in the gallery, many of whom were forcibly removed. By day’s end, the Capitol Police made 70 arrests. (RELATED: It Took Five Seconds For The Kavanaugh Hearing To Turn Into A Raging Dumpster Fire)
Some 42,000 documents arising from Kavanaugh’s White House service were released to the committee Monday night, just hours before the hearings began. What’s more, an attorney from former President George W. Bush’s office informed committee chairman Chuck Grassley that the administration had asserted executive privilege over approximately 30,000 records he produced as a White House lawyer.
Democrats said the proceedings should be delayed until the committee could review the documents submitted Monday, and determine whether the administration had validly claimed privilege over the other 30,000 records.
Ultimately Democrats agreed to move forward under protest, and the hearing proceeded according to schedule.
The message keeps with the strategy Democrats followed throughout the summer, arguing that committee Republicans were conspiring with Bush’s office to rig the confirmation process in Kavanaugh’s favor.
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