GOP says Booker may face ethics review
© Greg Nash

The Senate's top two Republican lawmakers say Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package MORE (D-N.J.) might be subject to an official review by the Senate Ethics Committee for releasing documents labeled “committee confidential” related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s past work at the White House.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill No signs of breakthrough for stalemated coronavirus talks State aid emerges as major hurdle to reviving COVID-19 talks MORE (R-Ky.) told Hugh Hewitt on Friday that Booker's decision — which the Democratic senator acknowledged violated the Senate rules — was “unusual” and that he wouldn't be surprised if it was reviewed by the Senate Ethics Committee.


“Let me just say this. 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. But it’s routinely looked at the Ethics Committee,” McConnell said.

Pressed if he thought the committee should look into Booker “expeditiously,” McConnell demurred.

“I don’t order, the majority leader doesn’t order the Ethics Committee to take matters up. They do it on their own initiative. ... But they have an obligation to look into violations of the Senate rules, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they did,” McConnell said.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCOVID-19 bill limiting liability would strike the wrong balance From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 GOP senator, separately retweeted a video of Booker saying he “knowingly” violated the rules, adding: “This is likely a matter for the Senate Ethics Committee.”

Cornyn went on to tweet the rules for the Senate Ethics Committee.


Booker quickly hit back at Cornyn, saying he was "threatening an ethics investigation" because Democrats "exposed this sham process." 
"I stand by my actions. I released 28 'committee confidential' documents to the public yesterday. Today I will be releasing more," Booker added in a tweet.

Booker sparked a rhetorical firestorm on Thursday when he decided to release emails from Kavanaugh's work as a lawyer for President George W. Bush that were marked “committee confidential,” meaning they hadn't been cleared for public distribution.

Booker released a total of six tranches of documents on Thursday. The first, though Booker called it “committee confidential,” had been publicly cleared for release by Bill Burck, the lawyer for President George W. Bush, in whose White House Kavanaugh had worked.

Booker subsequently shared five sets of documents that were still classified as “confidential.”

Booker is seen as a possible 2020 candidate for president, a fact Cornyn pointed to on Thursday in criticizing his actions.