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tv   Sen Feinstein on Kavanaugh News Conf  CSPAN  September 4, 2018 9:08am-9:14am EDT

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the first day of the confirmation hearing for president trump's nominee to the supreme court, judge brett kavanaugh, his confirmation hearing will begin. instructions being given to people in the line and reporters outside the hearing room. here protesters on the balcony just beyond the hearing room. we will be bringing you full live coverage today here on c-span 3 and also you can find us at c-span as well. we heard from democrats this morning on the judiciary committee about their concerns regarding the nominee, so in these last 20 minutes or so before the hearing begins, we will take a look at their remarks, speaking on the steps of the supreme court. >> this morning the senate is
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going to hold hearings on the nomination of brett kavanaugh to the united states supreme court. he is being nominated to a seat that's pivotal, that will be the deciding vote on some of the most important issues of our day, so the democratic caucus has gathered here today to s essentially state a silent protest. we will amend the meetings, we will question, but we want to express our concerns. i have had nine supreme court hearings, pat leahy has had more than i, but i've never had a hearing like this where documents are to difficult to get. when justice scalia died, republicans refused to even meet with president obama's nominee and they held the seat open for the entire year. now with a republican in the
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white house, they've changed their position. the majority rushed into this hearing and is refusing to even look at the nominee's full record. 93% of the records from kavanaugh's tenure in the white house as counsel and staff secretary have not been provided to the senate and 96% are hidden to the public. and now for the first time ever we've been told the white house is withholding over 100,000 pages from kavanaugh's tenure in the white house counsel's office with no explanation of what the top picks are and no formal claim of executive privilege. last night 42,000 documents were sent over, obviously no one has been able to look at them yet. judiciary democrats are sending a letter to white house counsel
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demanding these documents be immediately turned over to the senate. a copy of that letter is available to you and also a copy of a six-page letter from mr. burke, which was the pivotal point in pressing us to move. as you know, executive privilege has never before been invoked to block the release of presidential records to the senate during a supreme court nomination. in fact, when elena kagan was nominated president obama announced he would not invoke executive privilege over any of her white house records. when john roberts was nominated, president bush announced he would not invoke executive privilege over any of his white house records. when justice rehnquist was nominated, the committee refused to go forward with hearings until the white house produced records over which it initially
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indicated it might claim privilege. by contrast, the trump white house is withholding thousands of pages of brett kavanaugh's record from congress and admits it's doing so without actually asserting a legal privilege, rather taking advantage of the unprecedented process used by republicans to rush this nomination through the senate with just a fraction of the nominee's records. the white house is now asserting that it can withhold whatever document it wants without formally invoking executive privilege. this entire process has cast a cloud over judge kavanaugh's nomination. democrats strongly object to moving forward when so much of his record remains secret. we are shocked at the efforts being undertaken to jam this nominee through and hide his
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record from the american public. we go to these hearings under protest. thank you. that will conclude this event and i'm delighted to have all of the members of the judiciary part -- of the democratic part of the judiciary committee. so thank you very much. and there just hearing from the ranking member of the committee that's going to be starting the hearings for supreme court nominee, judge brett kavanaugh this morning. the chair of the senate judiciary committee is chuck grassley, he says he expects the hearings for the supreme court nominee to last three or four days. today we will be hearing opening statements here in this hearing room in the hart senate office building, number of people in line just outside waiting to get in including protesters. toda

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