Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) made quite the scene Thursday morning by saying he would deliberately break Senate rules to release confidential committee documents on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
"I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate," Booker said before releasing documents related to Kavanaugh’s time as a lawyer in the George W. Bush White House. "This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus' moment."
However, the Washington Post later confirmed that the documents had already been cleared for release and the records representative was “surprised to learn about Senator Booker’s histrionics.” The documents also simply showed that Kavanaugh was against racial profiling in the aftermath of 9/11.
NEW statement from Bill Burck, GWB’s records representative who led the review of Kavanaugh’s records pic.twitter.com/6MQSbgB1ub— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) September 6, 2018
When the Wall Street Journal’s Byron Tau attempted to confront Sen. Booker with a question about these facts, Booker accused him of violating the Constitution.
Democrats knew full well that the documents that Booker and Hirono released this morning were no longer confidential, according to D+R lawmakers and aides.— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) September 6, 2018
I asked @CoryBooker if his remarks in committee were a stunt. He told me I violating the constitution by being in his way.
Tau theorized that Booker was referring to the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution that says members of Congress cannot be arrested on their way to and from session or be “questioned in any other Place.” However, the questioning there is commonly interpreted to mean questioning by law enforcement.
I think he was referring to this. pic.twitter.com/HXLLj3HeJ4— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) September 6, 2018
White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah weighed in, calling Sen. Booker’s response to Tau “embarrassing.”
This is a little embarrassing. https://t.co/27TsMyI7zX— Raj Shah (@RajShah45) September 6, 2018
While Booker appears to believe it is unconstitutional for a member of the press to question him on his way to a session of the Senate, he recently decried President Trump’s attacks on the press as “moral vandalism.”