Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination means Durbin and Leahy, who are both still members of the Judiciary Committee, can reopen the matter. The day after Kavanaugh’s nomination, Durbin tweeted his 2007 letter, saying, “I’m still waiting for an answer.” Durbin declined an interview request, but during a committee hearing on Thursday, he mentioned the letter again. “He’s going to get a chance to respond now, when he appears before this committee under oath, as to what he was trying to tell us, and what he actually did tell us when it came to this important issue,” Durbin said. Leahy’s office also declined an interview request. The White House declined to comment.
The key will likely be the documents that the Judiciary Committee receives pertaining to Kavanaugh, in what’s expected to be the largest tranche of papers ever produced on any judicial nominee. Those papers could help clarify the 2002 meeting that the Post and NPR reported, as well as offer more indications of what Kavanaugh knew. Kavanaugh will likely tell senators that even if he consulted about Kennedy, he was not directly involved in crafting detainee policy. Democrats are likely to argue that Kavanaugh misled them, in that he suggested he wasn’t aware of the policy discussions at all. Unhelpfully for Kavanaugh, the former Bush aide Karl Rove, who strongly supports the judge’s nomination, told Neil Cavuto that as staff secretary, Kavanaugh was involved in almost all policy issues.