After Booker Releases Confidential Documents, McConnell Alludes to Ethics Probe


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested on Friday that Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., could face a Senate Ethics Committee investigation for releasing multiple documents classified as confidential by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The documents are related to Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s time serving in the White House for President George W. Bush. The papers fall under executive privilege, meaning they were created by members of the executive branch and are not automatically accessible to members of Congress.

However, for the sake of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, many documents were made available to Judiciary Committee members to further inform their vote, with the caveat they not be made public without first being cleared through Bush’s records representative.

With dramatic flair, Booker announced he would not follow the committee rules regarding confidential documents and would be releasing some of them to the public, calling it his “I am Spartacus moment.” Spartacus led several slaves in an uprising against their Roman rulers.

Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas upbraided Booker for flouting Senate rules on Thursday, saying, “This is no different from the senator deciding to release classified information.”

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“No senator deserves to sit on this committee, or serve in the Senate, in my view, if they decide to be a law unto themselves and willingly flout the rules of the Senate and the determination of confidentiality and classification,” he added. “Running for president is not an excuse for violating the rules of the Senate.”

Booker told Cornyn, “I have really two words to say to Mitch McConnell if he wants to do ethics charges — bring it!”

In a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt released on Friday, McConnell stated that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Booker faces a ethics investigation for his conduct, Politico reported.

“When you break the Senate rules, it’s something the Ethics Committee could take a look at. And that would be up to them to decide. But it’s routinely looked at (by) the Ethics Committee,” McConnell said. “They have an obligation to look into violations of the Senate rules, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.”

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The Ethics Committee is made up of three Republicans and three Democrats, including fellow Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., according to the Washington Examiner.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper confronted Booker about his “Spartacus moment” regarding a specific Kavanaugh email with the subject line “Racial Profiling” the senator said he was releasing in defiance of Senate rules. Cooper pointed out that the email in question had already been cleared for release by Bush’s representative.

In the January 2002 email, Kavanaugh advocated for a race-neutral approach to implementing security measures in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Was that just a stunt?” Cooper asked.

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Booker argued that he broke the Senate rules by reading from the email during Kavanaugh’s hearing the night before the document was approved for public release.

He then added he has now released over 20 more documents marked “committee confidential” in violation of Senate rules.

“I was raised and taught that an unjust law you almost have an obligation to stand against it,” Booker said. “I am violating those laws. I have been doing it all day.”

“They will not move to remove me from the Senate for violating the committee confidential rule,” he said.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith