The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place. – Article I, Section 6, Clause 1 of the US Constitution
Apparently, this is what Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was referencing when a Wall Street Journalist reporter asked him a question regarding his and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) misleading the public by claiming that the emails released regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were “confidential.”
The Washington Times reported on the incident:
Sen. Cory Booker claimed Thursday that a journalist with The Wall Street Journal was violating the Constitution by asking him a question regarding his failed “Spartacus” moment before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The New Jersey lawmaker who made national headlines with his assertion that he was releasing confidential documents on Judge Brett Kavanaugh (which turned out not to be confidential), was in no mood to answer Byron Tau’s questions on it.
Mr. Booker seemingly referenced a Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution to dodge a question on political theatrics.
Tau simply questioned Booker on his little shell game and the New Jersey senator accused him of violating the Constitution.
“Democrats knew full well that the documents that Booker and Hirono released this morning were no longer confidential, according to D+R lawmakers and aides,” Tau tweeted Thursday afternoon. “I asked @CoryBooker if his remarks in committee were a stunt. He told me I violating the constitution by being in his way.”
Democrats knew full well that the documents that Booker and Hirono released this morning were no longer confidential, according to D+R lawmakers and aides.
I asked @CoryBooker if his remarks in committee were a stunt. He told me I violating the constitution by being in his way.
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) September 6, 2018
Thing is, Booker tried to put himself as someone important, identifying himself with Spartacus, the slave who led a revolt in Rome, but Booker is not made of that kind of cloth. Oh, he’s a slave alright, of corruption, but he doesn’t have the character to actually make a legitimate stand.
Booker, of course, was busted in his lies. The Times adds:
Mr. Booker told lawmakers earlier in the day that he would release “racial profiling” documents from the administration of former President George W. Bush to prove they were not related to “national security.”
“This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment,” Mr. Booker told lawmakers.
There was just one problem with the Democrat’s defiant stand: the documents on racial profiling were approved for release overnight.
“We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to,” confirmed Bill Burck, Bush’s presidential records representative, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“We were surprised to learn about Senator Booker’s histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly. In fact, we have said yes to every request made by the Senate Democrats to make documents public,” Mr. Burck said.
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) blasted Booker at the time believing he had violated the rules, calling it “conduct unbecoming of a senator.” He later told Fox News that he had only learned from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) after his exchange with Booker that the documents had already been cleared.
“All of this drama this morning was apparently for nothing, and it’s unfortunate,” he concluded.
It is, but so was the fact that Booker called on enforcement of the rules, calling the Republican’s bluff. So both sides are to blame here. One side for knowingly lying about the release of documents and one side for incompetence regarding those documents and an unwillingness to enforce the rules, making them of no avail.
The fact that Booker would then claim that a journalist who simply asked him about his antics was somehow violating the Constitution demonstrates that the people of New Jersey, like in many other states, elected a Constitutionally incompetent man to the Senate.
The entirety of Article I, Section 6, Clause 1 is dealing with minor criminal offenses and being questioned by those who would enforce the law. That clause cannot be talking about the press questioning them, as the First Amendment protects such questioning of public representatives by the press.
Booker is an embarrassment in the Senate, much like Kamala Harris, Mazie Hirono and a score of others.
The only explanation for the Senate even putting up with these antics from people like Booker is that all of it is nothing more than political theater, meant to entertain the masses, but never to actually accomplish anything for those same masses.