keeping his distance
September 5, 2018

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said Wednesday during the second day of his confirmation hearing that he had nothing to do with the George W. Bush administration's enhanced interrogation programs. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asked about Kavanaugh's time working for the Bush White House, specifically whether Kavanaugh had told the truth when he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2006 that he did not work on the controversial programs.

"I was not involved — I was not read into that program, not involved in crafting that program nor crafting the legal justifications for that program," Kavanaugh said. "I told the truth and the whole truth in my prior testimony."

Kavanaugh worked as the White House staff secretary back then, and he was asked for legal interpretation on a Bush administration policy that would allow the U.S. to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects using methods often regarded as torture, reports The Washington Post. Other White House officials have said that he wasn't fully included on the development of the policy. Because it's not abundantly clear to what extent Kavanaugh was aware of or involved in the program's development, some Senate Democrats have expressed concern about "possibly false testimony" in his denial, reports the Post.

Senators who are grilling Kavanaugh this week to determine whether he should be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice haven't had access to all of the public documents from Kavanaugh's time in the Bush administration, so committee members are relying on his testimony alone. A White House spokesperson declined to tell The New York Times whether the documents contained information about Kavanaugh's stance on the torture programs at the time. Watch the moment from Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing below. Summer Meza

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