Cory Booker releases confidential documents on Kavanaugh

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The majority of Leahy's half hour of questioning was spent asking about correspondence between Kavanaugh and Manuel Miranda, the former Republican staff member responsible for promulgating the stolen information during Kavanaugh's time as a lawyer for the White House under President George W. Bush.

The Supreme Court nominee says during his Senate confirmation hearing that he has not been afraid to invalidate executive branch actions in his 12 years as an appeals court judge.

Kavanaugh has been fielding sharp questions at the confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill on some of the most contentious issues raging in American society, including gun rights, presidential power and abortion.

Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released more documents Thursday - including those Booker wanted made public - and stood by his handling of Kavanaugh's paper trail. Booker then said he would release an email about racial profiling even, he said, if he could be kicked out of the Senate for violating rules.

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

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

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Two of the Democratic senators who have been most forceful in the Kavanaugh hearing, Booker and Kamala Harris, are considered potential 2020 presidential candidates.

"So I am, right now, before your process is finished, I am going to release the email about racial profiling", he said.

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.

Cornyn criticized Senate Democrats' "high jinks" after they invoked a rarely enforced rule to shut down Senate floor proceedings at 1:16 protest of the confirmation hearings.

But Democrats said the documents should never have been kept confidential in the first place.

Kavanaugh has repeatedly described the abortion ruling as important Supreme Court precedent hard to overturn.

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"OK, how many times do want to tell us that", Grassley interrupted.

Asked about it by the committee's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kavanaugh reiterated his previous testimony that "Roe v. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court". Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to read a 2003 email in which Brett Kavanaugh says not all legal scholars refer to the abortion case Roe v. Wade as settled law.

In the document mentioned by Booker, Kavanaugh said that although he favored race-neutral policies in policing, there was an "interim question of what to do before a truly effective and comprehensive race-neutral system is developed and implemented". Cory Booker, D-N.J., about the circumstances in which government can and cannot use race-conscious measures to address past discrimination.

CBS News painted Booker as a hero for releasing "classified" emails after they were proven to be unrestricted.

Kavanaugh said Thursday that he has not discussed or given any hints about his views of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, said he hoped Mr. Booker would change his mind because releasing sensitive records would be "conduct unbecoming of a senator". Harris said he doesn't need to see a list to recall whether he's talked to anyone at the firm in the 15 months since Mueller's probe was launched. "The fact that tens of thousands of documents revealing a Supreme Court nominee's views on key issues were deemed Committee Confidential and not available to the public reflects the absurdity of this process".

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