Sen. Cory Booker, in a volatile exchange during the Senate committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, released confidential presidential documents on Tuesday, violating a confidentiality rule and now could be in trouble with his Congressional colleagues.
The emails made public on Thursday dated from Kavanaugh's service in the White House under Republican President George W. Bush more than a decade ago. At times, some of these senators were melodramatic: Booker dared Senate Republicans to expel him from the Senate over the document battle, for example.
"The public has a right to access documents about a Supreme Court nominee's views on issues that are profoundly important, such as race and the law", he continued. The document was partially redacted.
While Republican senators posed many questions on Kavanaugh's overall judicial philosophy, Democrats zeroed in on controversial issues, including gun ownership and abortion rights in the U.S.
In Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing for D.C. circuit judge 2004, he was asked by Sen.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he believes that Kavanaugh was talking about himself when he referred to legal scholars. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a vulnerable Democrat up for re-election, told CNN on Wednesday that he hadn't seen anything from the hearing yet that he considered disqualifying. Feinstein repeatedly pressed Kavanaugh on whether the high court's precedent meant that Roe could not be overturned.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the third day of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 6, 2018. "Under questioning from Senator Harris and Democrats, Judge Kavanaugh has been evasive, failed to answer simple questions, and demonstrated he's a partisan who has executed a political agenda as a judge", Tyrone Gayle, press secretary for Harris, tells TIME when presented with Ahrens and Severino's comments. A lawyer for Bush previously turned over thousands of documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Republican-led panel deemed "committee confidential", meaning they could not be made public or discussed during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing this week.
"Bring the charges", the New Jersey senator demanded. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, to release of some of the Bush-era documents.
"Grassley interrupted a moment later, however, to insist that the committee had been handling the documents in proper accordance with the Presidential Records Act". I get 20-22 minutes early this afternoon, and I think I'm going to do exclusively precedent for reasons exactly related to what you're saying.
"My process was fair, " Grassley said as he opened the session.
So far, Kavanaugh appears to have avoided any major missteps that could block his confirmation. But he declined to say whether a sitting president, like all other citizens, must respond to a subpoena to provide testimony.
Republicans condemned Booker, accusing him of grandstanding.
Late in the evening, Kavanaugh seemed to stumble at first when questioned by Democrat Kamala Harris of California about whom he might have spoken with at a certain law firm concerning the investigation into Russian election meddling.
After answering "with other judges I know", Kavanaugh was asked if he had discussed the probe with anyone who works at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the NY law firm founded by President Donald Trump's personal attorney Marc Kasowitz.
Asked about it again Thursday by Hatch, Kavanaugh did not fully clear up the situation.