Cory Booker releases confidential documents, GOP warns of consequences

Mindy Sparks
September 7, 2018

The finger-pointing over the unusual vetting process for Trump's nominee made for a rough start for the final day of questioning of Kavanaugh who has so far avoided major missteps that could block his confirmation.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano - who acknowledged he has been friends with Booker for 20-plus years, although they agree on very little politically - said the New Jersey senator will "absolutely not" face any discipline.

"The fundamental problem in this case is that these DOT regulations use a lot of legalisms and disguises to mask what is a naked racial set-aside", wrote Kavanaugh in the 2003 email.

In an email written when he was a lawyer in the White House under President George W. Bush, Kavanaugh gave advice on how to amend a document that characterized Roe v. Wade as "the settled law of the land".

It's not clear why these emails were marked "committee confidential", and Grassley's office didn't return a request for comment. Feinstein repeatedly pressed Kavanaugh on whether the high court's precedent meant that Roe could not be overturned. The document is partially black out.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will be back at the witness table Thursday, after fielding more than 10 hours of questions on Wednesday.

Kavanaugh said Thursday he was not talking about his views but what legal scholars might say.

The email was actually a chain between Kavanaugh and other Bush administration officials. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who pointed out that Booker was grilling Kavanaugh over documents he "can't see".

"Right now millions of American families are watching this in honest concern and fear", Booker said, wearing a blue tie and sounding every bit the presidential candidate. Republicans countered Kavanaugh's judicial opinions, which should be the greatest indicators of his qualifications, are public record and should be the focus of the hearing. Cornyn said it was "irresponsible and conduct unbecoming a senator".

The night before Kavanaugh's hearings, Bush's lawyer released another 42,000 pages of documentation, but they were all labeled committee confidential, meaning they couldn't be released to the public or discussed during hearings.

"My process was fair", he declared as he opened the session.

A number of Democrats on the committee then stepped forward to say they would also share any consequences suffered by Booker for releasing Kavanaugh's emails.

Now a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit, Kavanaugh, 53, was nominated to the bench by Trump in July to replaced retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Republicans condemned Booker, accusing him of grandstanding. The firm in question was founded by Marc Kasowitz, who has represented Trump.

Asked about that document, Kavanaugh said he suggested the change because he thought the draft language was overstating the thinking of legal scholars at the time.

Later, when Kavanaugh continued to stumble over response, Harris said, "I asked the question just a minute ago, I'm surprised you forgot".

Numerous women's groups are opposing Kavanaugh's nomination, fearing he would vote with other conservative justices to restrict or eliminate abortion rights. But Trump's fellow Republicans maintain a narrow Senate majority and there are no signs of defections in their ranks, indicating Kavanaugh likely will be confirmed. "There's no hecklers' veto", he said. He could be on a Supreme Court that decides whether the president can be subpoenaed in the special counsel's investigation into Russian election interference.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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