Senate passes bill to make lynching a federal crime
Booker on Kavanaugh documents fight: 'Bring it'
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is doubling down on his decision to release "confidential" documents on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, despite the potential consequences.
Booker on Monday recounted the heated fight over Kavanaugh's paperwork from his time as an aide for President George W. Bush to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show.
"I just announced that I was not going to abide by this committee confidential process. ... At which the more elder senior senator from Texas basically accused me of conduct unbecoming a senator and threatened to expel me from the Senate," Booker said.
When Fallon pressed Booker on what he said next, Booker added: "I said bring it. I said bring it."
Booker rankled Republicans when he moved forward with releasing several tranches of emails from Kavanaugh's tenure as a White House lawyer that were labeled "committee confidential," meaning they hadn't been approved for public release.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) - the No. 1 and No. 2 Senate Republicans, respectively - have warned that Booker's moves could spark an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee.
Cornyn read Booker a Senate rule during a testy back-and-forth during Kavanaugh's hearing that he argued shows the Democratic senator had broken the rules.
"No senator deserves to sit on this committee or serve in the Senate, in my view, if they decide to be a law unto themselves and willingly flout the rules of the Senate," Cornyn told Booker.
Booker fired back: "Then apply the rule, bring the charges."
Recounting the exchange on Monday night with Fallon, Booker added, with a laugh, that he would like to keep his job as a senator but not "at the expense of not doing what's right."
"Let me be clear though, I love my job. I love my job. I would like to keep my job, just in case anybody is listening out there. But I don't want to keep it at the expense of not doing what's right. It's not right that they're keeping so much from the American public," Booker said.
Booker's decision has earned him days of praise from his Democratic colleagues as well as the party's progressive base, who wanted to see Democrats use hardball tactics during Kavanaugh's hearing before the Judiciary Committee last week.
The move has also kept Booker, considered a potential 2020 White House contender, in the media spotlight, sparking accusations from Republicans that his decision to release the "committee confidential" documents is driven by political ambition.
It's unclear, despite GOP frustration, if Booker will face any public consequences from the Ethics Committee. The panel, which conducts most of its work behind closed doors and rarely publicly punishes sitting members.