It did not take long for the document drama to heat up during the third day of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings.
During a round of remarks before the questioning kicked off, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he was going to release an email titled “racial profiling,” which the senator referenced Wednesday, that had been designated committee confidential.
Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had complained that Democrats had been asking Kavanaugh about confidential documents without going through the process he laid out of getting permission to make them public.
“I come from a long line, as of all us do as Americans, of understanding of what that kind of civil disobedience is and I understand the consequences, so I am, before your process is finished, I’m going to release the email about racial profiling,” Booker said. “And I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate.”
Cornyn pushed back on Booker’s promise to release the email.
“Running for president is no excuse” for violating the rules, Cornyn said.
Grassley defended his document production process and said it was similar to how other Supreme Court nominees’ materials were handled. Democrats on the committee argued that in the past, those processes had been hammered out in a bipartisan agreement, and that, this time, they had not agreed to how the documents are being withheld.
Other Democrats jumped in to express their support for Booker’s moves to release the committee’s confidential docs.
“If there’s going to be some retribution against the senator of New Jersey, count me in,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) too said she’d release documents to the press and would let the public decide whether it should have been confidential.
“All of us are ready to face that rule of the bogus designation of committee confidential,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said.
I stand w/ Judiciary Committee Democrats who are well within their rights to release these very important documents that a former Kavanaugh deputy designed as “committee confidential.”
The American ppl deserve to know the truth about Judge Kavanaugh’s record. #WhatAreTheyHiding?
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) September 6, 2018