June 03, 2010

Obama may be stalling on releasing Kagan documents

The Daily Caller reports that the Obama administration has sent a "carefully worded letter" to Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, in response to Sessions' letter to the White House asking why Clinton's representative was reviewing the documents alongside Obama's staff. The letter gives two reasons: 1) the documents might be requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the public, and 2) documents that have classified national security information or personal privacy information are not to be released.

While the letter says President Obama "does not intend" to assert executive privilege over any of the documents," it states that President Clinton has an interest in the records as well, and therefore discussing the process for resolving executive privilege claims is "premature." The letter concludes that review of these records won't prevent the the Archives from producing the documents "in advance of June 28."

Judging from what the letter does not say, it seems like the Obama administration is keeping its options open to have Clinton assert executive privilege and to release hundreds of thousands of pages of documents as late as June 27, which would leave no time for a meaningful review of what paper trail Kagan has. Does the administration know there is something in Kagan's record that would impede her confirmation?

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