Cory Booker Vows to Release More Confidential Documents From Senate Committee After Criticism
Amid growing criticism, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) defended the release of confidential documents and vowed to do it again.
“Today members of
@JudiciaryDems released committee confidential docs about Judge Kavanaugh that were previously hidden from public view,” Booker wrote in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.
He added: “We will continue to release more committee confidential documents to draw attention to this sham process.”
Today members of @JudiciaryDems released committee confidential docs about Judge Kavanaugh that were previously hidden from public view.
We will continue to release more committee confidential documents to draw attention to this sham process. pic.twitter.com/Iap1KgJXzK
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 6, 2018
Booker’s tweet comes on the same day as Booker released emails linked to discussions Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
He announced his plans during the confirmation hearings.
“I am right now, before your process is finished, I am going to release the email about racial profiling, and I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate,” Booker said, admitting he understood he would be “knowingly violating the rules.”
The Washington Post highlighted this afternoon that the documents may have already been released prior to the drama that played out on the Senate floor, and that Booker may have known that before taking his stand.
However, within the hearing and afterward, his actions prompted other Democratic Senators to join his efforts and to praise his taking that step.
“I concur with what you are doing. Let’s jump into this pit together,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said at the hearing. “If there is going to be some retribution against the senator from New Jersey, count me in. I want to be part of this process.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) praised him on Twitter.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) September 6, 2018
Yet, Booker’s actions also sparked fierce criticism primarily from Republicans who panned Booker’s “Spartacus” moment and a sharp reminder from both the White House and Sen. John Cornyn that the penalty for such rule breaking is expulsion.
This exercise today is a reminder that these documents could have been made public if members had simply asked the committee
It wouldn’t have allowed for a “Spartacus” moment but it would have followed with the protocol @ChuckGrassley offered for weeks
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 6, 2018
.. of the committees, subcommittees and offices of the Senate shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt."https://t.co/N3ZsK1IZHB
— Raj Shah (@RajShah45) September 6, 2018
Cornyn also stressed that Booker’s presidential aspirations are “no excuse for violating the rules of the Senate or of the confidentiality of the documents that we are privy to.”
Booker has responded to the criticism by daring his colleagues to “bring it” and making it clear he has no intentions of backing down.
In addition to his tweet vowing to release more documents, he said this in response to possible charges: “I hope that they will bring charges against us and I am ready to accept the full responsibility for what I have done, the consequences for what I have done, and I stand by the public’s right to have access to this document and know this nominee’s views on issues that are so profoundly important, like race and the law, torture and other issues.”
Yet, while Booker may be continuing to flaunt the rules and vowing to release more documents, in fact, according to the Washington Post, of the recent efforts to expel members for more serious incidents — like fraud, corruption, abuse of power — none resulted in expulsion, making Booker’s bravado a somewhat empty threat.
In his article, WaPo’s Philip Bump also suggested that in all of this, it seems Booker is getting what he wanted all along.
“Expulsion is the most serious consequence a senator can face and few do,” Bump wrote. “The net result is that Booker got what he wanted — release of information he saw as incriminating — with the most likely result even if he’d violated the rules being the equivalent of a write-up from your boss.”
Still, Booker continues to insist he will release more documents to draw attention to the sham process and as of Thursday afternoon, despite the growing criticism, had pinned a tweet with two additional documents to his Twitter profile page.
Here are two additional Kavanaugh “committee confidential” documents related to school busing and affirmative action: https://t.co/Lgdl1Al82l
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) September 6, 2018
[image via screengrab]
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