If you're a fan of political theater, you'll recognize today's Republican press conference as an instant classic in the "huge stack of documents" genre. While you watch it, keep in mind that all those documents they're talking about could easily fit on a USB drive. Yes, you could carry them in your pocket.
But also keep in mind that the question Democrats are asking and Republicans are trying to dodge is a serious one. We need to know if current Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh deliberately misled Congress about his role in the Bush Administration, and his involvement in sensitive issues like warrantless wiretaps and "enhanced interrogation."
As my colleague Sen. Leahy has explained in a recent editorial, there's good reason to believe Kavanaugh did mislead Congress during his 2006 confirmation hearings.
Leahy further states:
"The methodical review of a federal court nominee’s record is not optional. It is the most fundamental part of the Senate’s constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent. Just last week, such vetting led to the withdrawal of a circuit court nominee with a record of offensive college writings. This process must be even more exhaustive for nominees to our nation’s highest court. And not long ago it was treated that way on both sides of the aisle."
Sen. Patrick Leahy, New York Times, July 23, 2018
The records we're requesting and Republicans are withholding will help us find the truth. If there's nothing to the allegations, we can put these questions to rest and move on.
But instead, Republicans would prefer to focus everyone's attention on a symbolic stack of boxes "taller than the Taj Mahal."
Unfortunately for them, that won't make the questions go away.
The American people expect us to carefully consider Judge Kavanaugh's nomination. Two questions we need to answer are: 1) Was he truthful in his last confirmation hearing? 2) What role did he play in the Bush Administration's surveillance and torture policies?
So far, all we have from the Republicans is theater of the absurd.