‘Spartacus’ Cory Booker ‘Broke Rules’ to Release Emails Already Cleared for Publication

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) made a great show of breaking Senate rules on Thursday to release “committee confidential” emails regarding Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh — but the emails had reportedly already been cleared for release.

Booker, referring to himself as Spartacus — i.e. the slave who led a revolt in ancient Rome, and sacrifices himself in the Hollywood film version of the story — defiantly dared the Senate to oust him for breaking the rules of confidentiality.

The emails he released included an exchange in which Kavanaugh advised the Bush administration to use “race-neutral” policies in airport security — though Booker spun them to suggest Republicans were trying to keep the emails hidden because of the references to race, implying that Kavanaugh had made racially derogatory or offensive comments in the emails.

Later Thursday, Shannon Bream of Fox News reported that the emails had already been cleared for release by the committee at 4:00 a.m. EDT Thursday morning, after Democratic Senators on the committee belatedly asked chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to make them public.

Committee communications staffer Garrett Ventry elaborated on Twitter:

It is not clear whether Booker knew the documents had already been cleared for release. Other senators, notably Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), rebuked Booker for what they appeared to believe was a violation of the rules. Cornyn called it “conduct unbecoming of a senator.”

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