Sessions Raises More Questions About Kagan Documents

Posted May 28, 2010 at 1:21pm

Judiciary ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is pushing the White House to resolve “ambiguities” in the thousands of pages of Clinton-era documents related to the Supreme Court nomination of Elena Kagan.

In a letter to White House Counsel Robert Bauer on Friday, Sessions said, “I am concerned by certain ambiguities that have arisen regarding assertions of executive privilege, as well as any potential privilege designations that may be made … and ask that you provide clarity now so that there is no confusion or dispute regarding this issue at a later date.”

Kagan worked for the Clinton administration for several years, and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library is preparing to release tens of thousands of documents to the committee as part of her confirmation process. Republicans have threatened to ask for a delay in the hearings if they are not released.

Noting that President Barack Obama has not yet formally waived executive privilege — and has not explicitly stated whether that waiver would also apply to former President Bill Clinton — Sessions asked that Bauer “please promptly advise me whether and when President Obama intends to waive executive privilege, and the impact that any such waiver would have on former President Clinton.”

Sessions also questioned why the White House would need to review the Clinton documents before they are released, arguing that it appears staff reviewed those materials before Kagan’s nomination was made.

“It seems highly unlikely that the President’s staff would not have reviewed all of these documents prior to Ms. Kagan’s nomination,” Sessions said.