Booker releases 'confidential' Kavanaugh documents

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Thursday released emails from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's time as a White House counsel, escalating a heated fight over his documents.

Booker released approximately 12 pages of emails tied to discussions Kavanaugh had on racial inequality including one email thread titled "racial profiling."

The documents are marked "committee confidential," meaning they are not supposed to be discussed or released publicly.

But the move comes after Booker said during a heated debate on Kavanaugh's third day before the Judiciary Committee that he would release the email thread.


"I am right now, before your process is finished, I am going to release the email about racial profiling, and I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate," Booker said at the hearing.

Booker acknowledged that he would be "knowingly violating the rules."

Booker questioned Kavanaugh on Wednesday night about his stances on racial inequality, referring to emails from his time as a White House counsel for President George W. Bush. But, Republicans later pointed out, one of the emails he was referring to was labeled as "committee confidential." 

In one of the emails, Kavanaugh questioned Department of Transportation (DOT) affirmative action regulations.

"The fundamental problem in this case is that these DOT regulations use a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what in reality is a naked racial set-aside," Kavanaugh writes in one of the emails from 2001. 

He adds that he believes four Republican justices will "realize as much in short order and rule accordingly." 

Tens of thousands of documents have been given to the committee under the label of committee confidential.

Shortly after Booker released the documents, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) staff released a bulk of new emails, previously marked "committee confidential," that had been cleared for public release. Booker's emails were included in the document tranche. 

Booker's announcement immediately sparked a rhetorical firefight between Judiciary Committee members, with both sides accusing the other of bad behavior.

Democrats on the committee argued that the process wasn't fair. Democrats have taken issue with Bill Burck, Bush's lawyer, being able to sort through the documents. Burck is a former GOP staffer and colleague of Kavanaugh's. 

"I have not made a big fight about this ... but again, lest silence imply consent, I think that rule is as ineffectual as if the chair had unilaterally repealed the law of gravity," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said. "It simply isn't so. I haven't agreed to this rule. I haven't voted on this rule."

Other Democrats quickly backed up Booker.


The Hill Full Story....