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Booker grills Kavanaugh about loyalty to Trump

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) questions Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about his loyalty to President Trump and how that could affect his decisions on the bench.

Posted: Sep 7, 2018 8:57 PM
Updated: Sep 7, 2018 9:16 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Sen. Cory Booker's move Thursday to break Senate rules and release confidential emails traded by Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, "unusual behavior," and discussed a potential ethics investigation Friday.

"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," McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in an MSNBC interview. "They have an obligation to look into violations of the Senate rules, and it wouldn't surprise me if they did."

Booker's announcement on Thursday, made in front of cameras and with an air of theatrics, was slammed as a stunt by Republicans who pointed out that the documents in question had already been cleared for public release.

But Booker continued throughout the day Thursday to release documents on Twitter -- some of which appeared to show Kavanaugh's personal views on the protection of religious interests -- that were confirmed by the Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, to still be considered "committee confidential."

Booker, considered to be a potential 2020 presidential candidate, was one of a handful of Democrats who generated headlines for bold moves at the hearing.

Booker took his stand over a set of 2002 messages Kavanaugh exchanged with the subject line "racial profiling." In the emails, sent as he served in the Bush White House in the months immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks, Kavanaugh said he supported security measures, including at airports, that were "race-neutral," but noted the administration would have to "grapple now" with how to approach the same kind of law enforcement in the period before such a system could be implemented.

Thursday, Booker said he took the action as an act of "civil disobedience."

"I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate," he said. "I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that email right now."

"This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an 'I am Spartacus' moment," he added.

Asked by Hewitt if he would open an investigation into the move by the Senate Ethics Committee, McConnell said the committee takes matters up "on their own initiative" but called Booker's type of action something "routinely looked at" by the committee.

McConnell also suggested Booker's move was a result of "intense pressure" after "a plea by a group from the left to step up the opposition, you know, act as outrageously as possible."

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who criticized Booker yesterday for the move, tweeted on Friday: "This is likely a matter for the Senate Ethics Committee" with a link to a video of Booker's comments earlier this week.

Booker responded shortly after on Twitter: "Weds—I broke committee rules by reading from "committee confidential" docs. Thurs—Cornyn threatened me with expulsion. He then changed his story & backtracked. Now he's back at it threatening an ethics investigation b/c we exposed this sham process."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
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Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
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Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
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Union6287
Ohio4957
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
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