WASHINGTON – After reviewing more than 35,000 emails sent by Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his service in the White House Counsel’s Office, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has concluded that the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) restrict nearly two-thirds of those records from public access.
After processing records in response to requests for access, NARA must notify Presidents Bush and Trump of the results of its review and give the Presidents an opportunity to conduct their own review. In public letters to the PRA representatives for Presidents Bush and Trump, NARA stated that it had processed more than 35,000 records from Judge Kavanaugh’s service in the White House Counsel’s Office. The letters notified the Presidents that, in the independent judgment of the professional archival staff, the PRA and FOIA require NARA to restrict nearly two-thirds of those records from public release.
NARA and President Bush are conducting separate and independent reviews of the same material and are separately providing those materials to the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Bush has exercised his authority to access documents from his own administration and, after conducting a review, is providing them on an expedited basis to help the committee begin its review of Judge Kavanaugh’s record as quickly as possible. Separate from this process, NARA is reviewing the same materials in response to the committee’s formal request for access under the PRA. NARA will provide those documents to the committee on a rolling basis after it conducts the review required by the PRA and FOIA. The committee expects to receive from these two sources all non-privileged Presidential records that are responsive to the committee’s document request before the hearing begins on September 4.
To date, President Bush has provided the committee with more than 238,000 pages of documents from Judge Kavanaugh’s service as a White House lawyer, and has authorized the committee to release nearly two-thirds of those materials to the public.