Politics Cory Booker Lays Groundwork for 2020 Run at Jeff Sessions Hearings

21:50  11 january  2017
21:50  11 january  2017 Source:   Time

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Cory Booker is set to testify against Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions Wednesday in an unprecedented move during his attorney general confirmation. This would be the first time in Senate history that a sitting senator will testify against another sitting senator for a Cabinet post during a confirmation. @ CoryBooker stop pretending to be principled and announce your 2020 run at the confirmation hearing .

Senator Jeff Sessions , President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for U.S. Attorney General, is a stalwart opponent of civil rights. In an unprecedented move, Senator Cory Booker , one of only three sitting Black Senators in the U.S. Senate, will testify against Sessions during his nomination hearing .

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There may as well have been a banner hanging in the grand marble meeting room that housed Jeff Sessions’ hearings for attorney general: Booker 2020.

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Error 404: Page Not Found. Department of Social Services hearing on Thursday.

Cory Booker . Not that he’s making himself easy to ignore, with his decision to break Senate precedent to testify in opposition to his colleague, Sen. Jeff Sessions , in confirmation hearings for attorney general. This is not really about blocking Sessions from joining the Cabinet. Jim Geraghty: “It looks like New Jersey Senator Corey Booker is interested in running for president in 2020 .

After 10.5 hours of questioning on Tuesday, Wednesday’s panel of witnesses felt less urgent alongside Donald Trump’s press conference and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s hearings beginning a building away. But Booker, swarmed by far more cameras than any other witness of the day when he entered the room, used the afternoon to take a splashy stand and lay groundwork for a potential 2020 presidential run.

“In a choice between standing with Senate norms and standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country, I will always choose conscience and country,” the junior Democratic senator from New Jersey said, acknowledging his unprecedented move. He’s believed to be the first sitting senator to testify against a colleague for a Cabinet post.

In Historic Move, Sen. Booker to Testify Against Sessions

  In Historic Move, Sen. Booker to Testify Against Sessions Booker's office said the Senate historian was unable to find any previous instance of a sitting senator's testifying against a fellow sitting senator.Booker's office said Monday that the Senate historian had been unable to find any previous instance of a sitting senator's testifying against a fellow sitting senator nominated for a Cabinet position.

Error 404: Page Not Found. Cory Gearrin.

Cory Booker to testify against Jeff Sessions . Jared Kushner to serve as senior adviser to father-in-law Donald Trump. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who Trump has nominated to be attorney general. At 3:30 p.m. ET, hearings for retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, Trump's choice for secretary of homeland security, will commence. Despite the Office of Government Ethics raising concerns that the confirmation schedule puts "undue pressure" on the office to "rush through" its reviews of nominees, Republicans have vowed to go forward with the hearings .

With members of the Congressional Black Caucus sitting behind him, Booker made an impassioned plea for the committee to oppose Sessions, citing the Alabama Senator’s record on voting rights, LGBTQ equality, immigration and criminal justice reform.

“The arc of the moral universe does not just naturally curve towards justice. We must bend it,” Booker said, alluding to a favorite line of President Obama’s and sounding more like he was delivering a rousing campaign speech than giving sworn testimony in a hearing.

Booker’s appearance calls to mind similar headline-grabbing actions by young presidential hopefuls of the past: then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama filibustering Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court in 2006, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz leading the government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act in 2013, or Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s lengthy filibuster of the Patriot Act in 2015.

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Cory Booker of New Jersey announced late on Monday that he would break longstanding Senate norms and testify against fellow sitting Sen. Jeff Sessions , President-elect Donald Trump’s US attorney general nominee. Booker told MSNBC on Monday that he would testify against Sessions on Tuesday or Wednesday during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings surrounding Sessions ’ nomination, joining prominent civil rights activist Rep.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is scheduled to testify against Senator Jeff Sessions on Wednesday. The move is believed to be without precedent, as Booker will become the first sitting senator to testify against another sitting senator in a cabinet post confirmation hearing . "I'm breaking a pretty long Senate tradition by actually being a sitting senator tomorrow testifying tomorrow against another sitting senator," Booker said during a recent interview on MSNBC.

As in those cases, Booker’s testimony against Sessions will endear him to his base. Liberal and civil rights groups oppose Sessions’ nomination; the panel of witnesses Wednesday included NAACP head Cornell William Brooks, ACLU legal director David Cole and former DREAMer Oscar Vazquez testifying against Sessions. And Booker is likely betting that taking a strong stance against the Trump administration early will pay off at the end of the controversial president-elect’s first term.

Cory Booker during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General in the Trump administration, on Jan. 10, 2017. © Bill Clark—AP Cory Booker during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General in the Trump administration, on Jan. 10, 2017.

“The Democratic Party is suffering from a leadership vacuum right now and Cory Booker’s efforts place him at the top of the list of national leaders defining themselves and what our party narrative should be,” said Brad Bauman, the former executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a Democratic consultant. “By taking this extraordinary measure, he is showing that he could have the chops to lead the party, be our standard bearer in 2020 and, at a minimum, it helps define the resistance to Trump’s agenda at this critical time.”

Booker’s move, and the possible motivation behind it, has not gone unnoticed by his Republican colleagues. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton released a statement ahead of Booker’s testimony calling it a “disgraceful breach of custom” and saying, “I’m very disappointed that Senator Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Senator Sessions. … This hearing simply offers a platform for his presidential aspirations.”

Booker’s time before the Judiciary Committee likely won’t make a difference to Sessions, who has the Republican majority to sail through the confirmation vote. But it may well resurface in campaign ads four years from now.

With reporting from Philip Elliott

Standing behind Trump on Friday? The future of the Democratic Party .
One by one, each of these potential candidates put their heads down Friday and vowed to get to work challenging Trump’s administration. As she headed to Senate votes for confirming some Trump Cabinet members, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) carried a laptop in hand and ducked into an elevator with a reporter. How had she spent the first hours of Trump’s reign? “Working,” she said. “I went back to my office and sat and worked.”Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) began his day by pouring out his political soul in a 511-word Facebook post, which by 6 p.m. had been shared nearly 4,000 times.

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