August 8, 2018
Last Thursday’s column noted and quoted Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (IA)’s letter to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), rebuffing Schumer’s request for over a million pages of documents relating to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s tenure as Staff Secretary to President George W. Bush. Yesterday, Senator Grassley doubled down on his refusal, taking his case directly to the American people in an editorial he penned in the Wall Street Journal. Grassley credited Senator Schumer for what Grassley called “a moment of honesty” – Schumer’s insistence that he will oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination “with everything I’ve got.” Given this indefatigable certainty, Grassley wonders, why is Schumer demanding this horde of documents? In case the gargantuan immensity of Schumer’s document demand escapes those outside-the-Beltway readers who aren’t used to counting in “billions with a ‘B’,” Grassley goes granular:
Democratic leaders are demanding access to every page from every email and every paper record from every one of the hundreds of White House aides who came and went during the entire eight years of President Bush’s time in office. This includes records that merely mention Judge Kavanaugh’s name and records he’s never seen. That is not reasonable. As I have made clear, I will not put taxpayers on the hook for a fishing expedition.
These materials, Grassley adds, are also “saturated with irrelevant documents – including miscellaneous news clippings, the daily schedule, and even the White House lunch menu.” Does anyone really want the nomination hearings to be laden down with questions demanding that Kavanaugh speculate about what he would have said if asked or justify negations, such as “Why didn’t you comment upon the memorandum relating to executive authority when you had the opportunity?”
“How much more do Democratic leaders need to know when they’re already voting no?” Grassley wonders. We wonder, too, and applaud Senator Grassley for his wisdom in calling an end to this foolish grandstanding. Let the hearings begin, and let Judge Kavanaugh address his real record, not the imaginary one his opposition wants to impose upon him.