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McConnell cites possible ethics investigation for Booker

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Sen. Cory Booker's move Thursday ...

Posted: Sep 7, 2018 4:29 PM
Updated: Sep 7, 2018 4:29 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Sen. Cory Booker's move Thursday to break Senate rules and release confidential emails traded by Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, "unusual behavior," and discussed a potential ethics investigation Friday.

"When you break the Senate rules, it's something the Ethics Committee could take a look at. And that would be up to them to decide," McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt in an MSNBC interview. "They have an obligation to look into violations of the Senate rules, and it wouldn't surprise me if they did."

Cory Booker

Ethics

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Mitch McConnell

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Brett Kavanaugh

Booker's announcement on Thursday, made in front of cameras and with an air of theatrics, was slammed as a stunt by Republicans who pointed out that the documents in question had already been cleared for public release.

But Booker continued throughout the day Thursday to release documents on Twitter -- some of which appeared to show Kavanaugh's personal views on the protection of religious interests -- that were confirmed by the Judiciary Committee chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, to still be considered "committee confidential."

Booker, considered to be a potential 2020 presidential candidate, was one of a handful of Democrats who generated headlines for bold moves at the hearing.

Booker took his stand over a set of 2002 messages Kavanaugh exchanged with the subject line "racial profiling." In the emails, sent as he served in the Bush White House in the months immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks, Kavanaugh said he supported security measures, including at airports, that were "race-neutral," but noted the administration would have to "grapple now" with how to approach the same kind of law enforcement in the period before such a system could be implemented.

Thursday, Booker said he took the action as an act of "civil disobedience."

"I understand the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate," he said. "I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that email right now."

"This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an 'I am Spartacus' moment," he added.

Asked by Hewitt if he would open an investigation into the move by the Senate Ethics Committee, McConnell said the committee takes matters up "on their own initiative" but called Booker's type of action something "routinely looked at" by the committee.

McConnell also suggested Booker's move was a result of "intense pressure" after "a plea by a group from the left to step up the opposition, you know, act as outrageously as possible."

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who criticized Booker yesterday for the move, tweeted on Friday: "This is likely a matter for the Senate Ethics Committee" with a link to a video of Booker's comments earlier this week.

Booker responded shortly after on Twitter: "Weds—I broke committee rules by reading from "committee confidential" docs. Thurs—Cornyn threatened me with expulsion. He then changed his story & backtracked. Now he's back at it threatening an ethics investigation b/c we exposed this sham process."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 513622

Reported Deaths: 10264
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34892556
DeSoto33234432
Hinds32638641
Jackson24854389
Rankin22507403
Lee16337242
Madison14922283
Jones14113247
Forrest13766259
Lauderdale12270324
Lowndes11305193
Lamar10659140
Pearl River9719244
Lafayette8846143
Hancock7836132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7210138
Monroe7010179
Pontotoc6990109
Warren6863178
Panola6759134
Neshoba6730210
Marshall6678141
Bolivar6445151
Union638297
Pike5928156
Alcorn5879107
Lincoln5530136
George510180
Prentiss503884
Tippah491482
Itawamba4844107
Scott477899
Adams4768125
Tate4756116
Leflore4729144
Copiah456495
Yazoo456491
Simpson4546117
Wayne443072
Covington433695
Sunflower4299106
Marion4277112
Coahoma4237109
Leake413990
Newton395781
Tishomingo383593
Grenada3777109
Stone365866
Jasper340666
Attala338290
Winston317892
Chickasaw315467
Clay312278
Clarke301195
Calhoun285049
Holmes271889
Smith269052
Yalobusha243947
Tallahatchie231553
Greene224749
Walthall221666
Lawrence218740
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster205348
Noxubee188742
Montgomery181657
Carroll174541
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152939
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134338
Humphreys131239
Franklin125529
Quitman107628
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65221
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845284

Reported Deaths: 16116
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161552006
Mobile742111380
Madison53307732
Shelby38338368
Baldwin38085589
Tuscaloosa36022641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25562263
Calhoun22586518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20018517
Marshall18782316
Houston17731425
St. Clair16884358
Limestone16148218
Cullman16054303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14989306
Talladega14196299
DeKalb12972269
Walker12030380
Blount10717192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10162194
Coffee9417192
Colbert9342208
Dale9020191
Tallapoosa7256201
Russell708165
Chilton7018170
Escambia6957143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5406130
Dallas5285209
Pike5119109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369580
Butler3435100
Marengo342493
Monroe337266
Randolph334867
Pickens333188
Fayette330385
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317863
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244864
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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