Judicial Watch Files Ethics Complaint Against Sen. Cory Booker For Violating Senate Rules

By Michael W. Chapman | September 13, 2018 | 5:21 PM EDT

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
(YouTube)

(CNSNews.com) -- The government watchdog group Judicial Watch delivered a letter on Wednesday to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics requesting that it investigate Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) for his "admitted violation [of] Senate rules by releasing confidential records through his social media accounts," said the organization in a Sept. 12 press release.

In a Sept. 7 tweet, Sen. Booker said, "I broke committee rules by reading from 'committee confidential' docs." Also, in a Sept. 9 Facebook post, Booker said, "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."

The Democratic senator also opened a Dropbox account that is accessible to the public. It contains documents and is headed, “Booker Confidential  – Kavanaugh Hearing Documents."

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  (YouTube)

“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,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“Will the Senate assert the rule of law in the Booker case or allow mob rule to be the new standard?” asked Fitton.

In the letter to the chairman and co-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, Judicial Watch cites the Senate rules and potential consequences of releasing confidential records. 

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)   (YouTube)

The letter states, "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."

In conclusion, Judicial Watch wrote, "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."


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Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman