Former President Bill Clinton's library, under pressure to quickly cough up reams of documents from Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's past, is planning to release on Friday some 30,000 pages from her stint in Clinton's White House counsel's office.
Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for the National Archives and Records Administration, said the staff there is "hoping to get through all the rest of the papers" requested by the Senate Judiciary Committee by Friday. That doesn't include nearly 80,000 pages of e-mails written by or to Kagan, which will be released later, Cooper added.
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Judiciary Republican, said Wednesday that senators needed access to all the records by week's end.
"This idea that you can read the documents and immediately walk into the hearing room and ask an intelligent question is not true. You have to have an opportunity to go through it, (and) to think about it," Sessions said. "I think it's important that we get the documents by Friday."
That's just over two weeks before the panel's confirmation hearings begin. Sessions has said he would ask for a delay of the June 28 hearing date if senators didn't have adequate time to review the Clinton-era documents, which total some 160,000 pages.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Judiciary chairman, said Republicans shouldn't use the release of the files as a basis to call the hearings rushed. Former President George W. Bush's administration refused to turn over some similar documents relating to his Supreme Court nominees, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.
Republicans "shouldn't be able to say because the Obama administration is giving us everything we asked for — unlike Bush — we need more time," Leahy said. "We can all read."
The William J. Clinton Presidential Library last week released 46,500 pages from Kagan's stint as deputy director of Bill Clinton's Domestic Policy Council from 1997 to 1999.
She served as a White House counsel from 1995 to 1996.