Sen. Tom Cotton on Monday slammed Sen. Cory Booker for planning to testify against the attorney general nomination of fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions, accusing the New Jersey Democrat of a “disgraceful breach of custom” designed to boost his 2020 presidential ambitions.
Cotton (R-Ark.) leveled his charges hours before Booker is set to appear alongside other Congressional Black Caucus members during the second day of Sessions’ confirmation hearing. Booker said in a late Monday statement that his historically unprecedented decision to testify against a fellow sitting senator during a Cabinet confirmation hearing came from “a call to conscience” in light of the Alabama Republican’s “deeply troubling views.”
Cotton saw different motivations at work, writing in a Facebook post that “I’m very disappointed that Senator Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Senator Sessions.”
“Senator Booker says he feels compelled to speak out because Senator Session [sic] wants to keep criminals behind bars, drugs off our streets, and amnesty from becoming law,” Cotton wrote. “He’s welcome to oppose these common-sense policies and vote against Senator Sessions’s nomination, but what is so unique about those views to require his extraordinary testimony? Nothing. This hearing simply offers a platform for his presidential aspirations. Senator Booker is better than that, and he knows better.”
Cotton last year sparked controversy and his own charges of unbecoming senatorial conduct by spearheading a letter to the leaders of Iran, signed by 46 fellow Republicans, that discouraged the signing of a nuclear pact with President Barack Obama.