ABC’s Moran Champions Booker’s ‘I Am Spartacus’ Grandstanding

The most embarrassing moment throughout the entire confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh didn’t even involve him directly. In an obvious case of grandstanding Thursday, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker issued hollow threats about released allegedly confidential e-mails from the nominee, which he said could get him expelled from the Senate. Despite being called out for his presidential ambitions, Booker pompously declared it was his “I am Spartacus moment.”

That jaw-dropping ludicrousness from the Senator won the admiration of ABC correspondent Terry Moran, who spent the first part of his World News Tonight report touting the Senator’s .

“But then Democratic Senators joining the resistance, drowning out the protesters with their own dramatic stand,” he enthusiastically proclaimed. “Senator Cory Booker, apparently flouting Senate rules by releasing confidential e-mails from Judge Kavanaugh's years inside the George W. Bush White House. One dealing with the issue of racial profiling post-9/11.

Moran touted how some of Booker’s fellow Democratic Senators backed him up even though they supposedly were “facing possible expulsion for breaking Senate rules”. Booker suggested the e-mails were confidential and insinuated they showed a darker side to Kavanaugh. Neither of those things turned out to be true because the documents were released the previous night and they showed no such thing.

Of course, Moran insisted the non-confidentiality of the e-mails were just something Republicans were “claiming” even though he admitted, “those documents had been released overnight.” There was also no mention of the actual content of the e-mails. And while Moran touted Booker’s grandstanding, there was no clip or mention of his embarrassing “I am Spartacus” declaration or Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn calling him out for his presidential aspirations.

 

 

Moran then spent the rest of his report trying to make it seem as though Kavanaugh was tripping all over himself and couldn’t get his answers straight. He started with an e-mail where the nominee mentioned Roe v. Wade:

So, Democrats turned to confronting Kavanaugh on abortion, and a 2003 e-mail about Roe V. Wade, where he wrote, "I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since the court can always overrule its precedent." Democrats demanded, was that a hint he'd overrule Roe?

He then focused on the confrontations between Kavanaugh and California Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, with the same goal of making the nominee look bad (Click “expand” to read):

MORAN: It's a subject Democrats hammered away on. Last night, Senator Kamala Harris --

KAMALA HARRIS: Can you think of any laws that give government the power to make decisions about the male body?

MORAN: Harris also asking a cryptic question about the Russia investigation.

(…)

MORAN: Harris also asking a cryptic question about the Russia investigation.

HARRIS: Have you discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz, Benson and Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump's personal lawyer? [Flash] It's a really specific question.

KAVANAUGH: I would like to know the person you're thinking of, because, what if there’s --

HARRIS: I think you're thinking of someone and you don't want to tell us.

MORAN: Today, Kavanaugh tried to clarify.

But in reality, Kavanaugh was doing just fine.

During CBS Evening News, chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford boasted about how well he was doing. “I think the main takeaway is judge Kavanaugh, he is performing well. I mean, Democrats haven't made any real headway in tripping him up on any of the major issues,” she reported. “Remember he was a federal appeals court judge for 12 years, and it's almost like he's giving a legal seminar on these areas of the law, whether it's affirmative action or executive power.”

Crawford also said she talked to one GOP Senator who contended “Judge Kavanaugh was doing better than even Chief Justice John Roberts did when he was up here for his confirmation hearings.” Cleary, a divergence from Moran’s account of the hearings.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

 

ABC's World News Tonight
September 6, 2018
6:40 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: Next, to Capitol Hill, and the new chaos on day three of the hearings for the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Judge Kavanaugh given a chance today to answer a question first asked last night. Did he ever discuss Robert Mueller with lawyers for President Trump? And he was also asked about his own words about a woman's right to choose in Roe V. Wade. Is it settled precedent or not? ABC's Terry Moran in the hearing room again tonight.

[Cuts to video]

TERRY MORAN: A fiery start to today's hearing –

PROTESTOR: Save Roe! Save democracy! Save Roe!

(…)

MORAN: But then Democratic Senators joining the resistance, drowning out the protesters with their own dramatic stand. Senator Cory Booker, apparently flouting Senate rules by releasing confidential e-mails from Judge Kavanaugh's years inside the George W. Bush White House. One dealing with the issue of racial profiling post-9/11.

CORY BOOKER: I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that e-mail right now.

MORAN: Booker's fellow Democrats vowing to stand with him.

SEN. DICK DURBIN: Count me in. I want to be part of this process.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO: Count me in, too.

MORAN: The Democrats facing possible expulsion for breaking Senate rules. But, Republicans later claiming it was all just a show, those documents had been released overnight. So, Democrats turned to confronting Kavanaugh on abortion, and a 2003 e-mail about Roe V. Wade, where he wrote, "I am not sure that all legal scholars refer to Roe as the settled law of the land at the Supreme Court level since the court can always overrule its precedent." Democrats demanded, was that a hint he'd overrule Roe?

KAVANAUGH: It was referring to the views of legal scholars, and I think my comment in the e-mail was that might be overstating the position of legal scholars.

MORAN: It's a subject Democrats hammered away on. Last night, Senator Kamala Harris --

KAMALA HARRIS: Can you think of any laws that give government the power to make decisions about the male body?

MORAN: Harris also asking a cryptic question about the Russia investigation.

HARRIS: Have you discussed Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz, Benson and Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump's personal lawyer? [Flash] It's a really specific question.

KAVANAUGH: I would like to know the person you're thinking of, because, what if there’s --

HARRIS: I think you're thinking of someone and you don't want to tell us.

MORAN: Today, Kavanaugh tried to clarify.

KAVANAUGH: I haven't had any inappropriate conversations about that investigation with anyone. I've never given anyone any hints, forecasts, previews—

[Cuts back to live]

(…)

NBDaily Appointments Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight Video Terry Moran Brett Kavanaugh Cory Booker John Cornyn

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