By Kevin Daley
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing again started on a tumultuous note Thursday, as Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey revealed he leaked confidential documents to The New York Times relating to the judge’s work in the George W. Bush White House.
The documents show Kavanaugh advising other White House officials on abortion and affirmative action.
“I’m saying I’m knowingly violating the rules,” Booker said. “I’m saying right now that I’m releasing committee confidential documents.”
“I violated it because I sincerely believe the public deserves to know this nominee’s record,” he said later in the hearing.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn reacted incredulously, and accused Booker of violating institutional rules to win credibility with voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Booker is widely considered a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“Running for president is not an excuse for violating the rules of the Senate or of confidentiality of the documents that we are privy to,” Cornyn said.
In turn, Booker dared Cornyn to start proceedings against him.
“I hope that they will bring charges against us and I am ready to except with full responsibility what I have done,” Booker said.
“This is about the closest moment I will ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment,” Booker added, before accusing other senators of “bluster.”
Senate rule 29.5 provides that any senator who breaches confidentiality may be expelled from the chamber.
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