(CNN) – It’s been more than a week since President Donald Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court and still, not a single Senate Democrat has sat down to meet with him.
According to a senior Democratic Senate aide, that isn’t a coincidence.
Senate Democrats are deliberately holding off meeting with Kavanaugh, the aide told CNN, until Democrats can strike an agreement with Republicans on how to move forward on document procurement for Kavanaugh’s nomination.
While the White House has been trying to set up meetings with Democratic senators — including leading Democrats in the Senate and on the Judiciary Committee — the aide tells CNN that the Democratic caucus remains united for now on holding off on the meetings until they get more assurances that progress is being made in gathering documents on Kavanaugh’s nomination, especially those that pertain to his time in the Bush White House.
White House spokesman Raj Shah told CNN “Judge Kavanaugh is ready and willing to meet with Senators that are willing to meet with him.”
The Senate aide stresses that they aren’t requiring the documents be completely turned over and in the hands of senators before the meetings take place, but that at the bare minimum, they must see more progress in their negotiations with Republicans as it relates to Kavanaugh’s documents. Democrats argue they want Kavanaugh to be subject to the same standard to which Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was subjected. Like Kavanaugh, Kagan worked for an administration — in her case Clinton’s — and had a long paper trail.
A White House official told CNN that they have reached out to offices on both sides of the aisle for meetings and that some offices have said they were waiting for leadership to meet with Kavanaugh while others have said they were working out their schedules. The official was surprised by the reaction and called it unprecedented.