Sen. Cory Booker (D–N.J.) released confidential documents to the public in a violation of Senate rules.

“I knowingly violated the rules that were put forth, and I’m told that the committee confidential rules have knowing consequences,” he said. “I am going to release the email about racial profiling, and I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate.”

The specific document in dispute was a 2002 Kavanaugh email with the subject line “racial profiling” that includes internal White House discussions about whether airport security and other law enforcement should strive for a “race-neutral” system in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Arguing it was improper for Bill Burck, a private attorney employed by former president George W. Bush and former colleague of Kavanaugh, to be vetting the documents and designating some as private. He said releasing them would be worth it even if it meant getting expelled from the Senate for violating the rules.


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“I come from a long line, as all of us do, of Americans that understand what that kind of civil disobedience is and I understand the consequences,” Booker said. “So I am, right now, before your process is finished, I am going to release the email about racial profiling and I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate.”


“If Senator Cornyn believes I violate Senate rules, I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that email right now,” he added, referring to Republican Sen. John Cornyn‘s warning that releasing “committee confidential” documents would break Senate rules.

Booker continued his statement, saying “Bring it. Bring the charges.”

Later Thursday, outside the hearing room, Booker told reporters he doesn’t expect the Texas Republican to pursue charges.

“I think he was just like most bullies are — a lot of talk and no action,” Booker said.

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