GOP says Booker may face ethics review
© Greg Nash

The Senate's top two Republican lawmakers say Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents Judd Gregg: The collapse of the Senate Dems engage in last-ditch effort to block Kavanaugh 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 McConnellSanders hits Feinstein over Kavanaugh allegations: Now it’s clear why she did nothing for months On The Money: Senate approves 4B spending bill | China imposes new tariffs on billion in US goods | Ross downplays new tariffs: 'Nobody's going to actually notice' McConnell tamps down any talk of Kavanaugh withdrawal 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CornynJohn CornynGOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford Blumenthal: Kavanaugh nomination should be withdrawn Cornyn takes on O'Rourke over AR-15s MORE (R-Texas), the No. 2 GOP senator, separately retweeted a video of Booker saying he “knowingly” violated the rules,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.