No surprise here. The Obama administration believes they can withhold evidence at any time. No different in the confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee – always one of the most important events in the governing of our Republic. This time, the Judiciary Committee is requesting the memos of Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagen, written while serving in the Clinton White House.
Obama and Bill are getting together to decide which documents to block. Obama’s personal counsel, Robert Bauer, suggested the Judiciary Committee request the documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Republicans say that is “bizarre:”
…because…the Judiciary Committee’s request is privileged, unlike a FOIA request. In other words, while Clinton can block the release of documents requested under FOIA, he can’t block documents requested by the Committee….
Republicans also believe that between Bauer’s statements and those of the White House, the plan might be to dump “hundreds of thousands of pages of documents as late as June 27, the day before the hearing….” Republicans, as the minority party, cannot reschedule the hearings, and apparently Democrats don’t care what Kagen wrote, believed or believes.
A final issue of dispute regards whether Clinton retains authority to assert executive privilege over the documents. Under Executive Order 13489, enacted by Obama, only Obama can asset executive privilege to block the documents.
Kagen’s paper-trail is almost non-existent, so the Clinton documents might lend the only insight into the beliefs of Elena Kagen.