Careful What You Wish For? Judicial Watch Files Complaint Against Cory Booker



New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — aka “Spartacus” — found himself on the receiving end of a filed complaint Wednesday.

Conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch hand-delivered a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics against the organization’s co-chair.

The catalyst for the complaint came in the form of the congressman’s perpetual and hilariously unprompted claim of having violated Senate rules by releasing confidential committee documents amid Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. The initial batch of documents had actually been previously declassified.

Booker’s grandstanding over the issue was one of the silliest things I’ve seen in politics. He came across as an eighth grader telling his classmates he’d had his first beer.

In addition to making a goob of himself during the hearings with all the unnecessary bluster, he boasted about his rule-breaking daring on social media. On September 9th, the Democrat posted to Facebook, “And the classification of many documents as ‘Committee Confidential’ is a sham. … I willfully violate these sham rules. I fully accept any consequences that might arise from my actions including expulsion.”

On September 7th, he tweeted the following:

“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.”

Judicial Watch’s letter cited Booker’s online strutting.

During his Senate hearing bloviating, Cory got lost in his cigarettes-rolled-up-in-his-sleeve coolness, prompting an obviously unimpressed John Cornyn, R-Tx, to interrupt, “Can I ask you how long you’re going to say the same thing three or four times?”

The man was on a roll:

“I come from a long line, as all of us do, of Americans that understand what that kind of civil disobedience is and I understand the consequences. So I am, right now, before your process is finished, I am going to release the email about racial profiling and I understand that the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate.

“If Senator Cornyn believes I violate Senate rules, I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that email right now.”

Booker repeated his bravado:

“I’m saying I’m knowingly violating the rules.”

“Okay. How many times are you gonna tell us that?” Cornyn queried.

He also wanted to make sure everyone on Facebook knew how he was willing to pay for his crimes:

“Now [Cornyn] is threatening ethics charges. As I said then, I say it now: Bring it.”

Cory further puffed, “But he won’t. He knows this is a sham process that can’t be defended. In this, he is all bluster, or as they say in his state of Texas: He is all hat and no cattle.”

Well, perhaps he won’t; but Judicial Watch is here to give things a nudge.

In the letter of complaint, JW referenced two ethics guidelines from the Standing Rules of the Senate of which Booker is in violation:

“By publicly releasing Committee Confidential records, Sen. Booker appears to have violated provisions 5 and/or 6 of Rule 29 of the Standing Rules of the Senate (Rev. Jan. 24, 2013), which stipulate:

“5. Any Senator, officer or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees and offices of the Senate shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt.
“6. Whenever, by the request of the Senate or any committee thereof, any documents or papers shall be communicated to the Senate by the President or the head of any department relating to any matter pending in the Senate, the proceedings in regard to which are secret or confidential under the rules, said documents and papers shall be considered as confidential, and shall not be disclosed without leave of the Senate.

“We hereby request that the Senate Ethics Committee conduct a preliminary investigation into whether Sen. Booker violated Senate Rules by releasing Committee Confidential records through his social media accounts.”

Maybe Cory “Spartacus” Booker will get what he seems to want: in trouble. Nothing is cooler than a guy with a bad rap.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton released a statement that might appeal to Booker’s bad-boy sensibilities:

“Senator Booker, in an absurd invocation of ‘Spartacus,’ explicitly invited his expulsion from the Senate in his egregious violation of the rules and contempt for the rule of law and the Constitution. … Will the Senate assert the rule of law in the Booker case or allow mob rule to be the new standard?”

On Wednesday, Cory said he would continue to release documents:

“No effort to intimidate me into silence will keep me from doing my moral and constitutional duty.”


Thank you for reading! Do you hope Booker is disciplined? What do you think of his antics? Please sound off in the Comments below.

Follow me — Alex Parker — on Twitter and Facebook; find all my RedState work here.

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