Brakkton Booker

Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.

He covers a wide range of topics including issues related to federal social safety net programs and news around the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

His reporting takes him across the country covering natural disasters, like hurricanes and flooding, as well as tracking trends in regional politics and in state governments, particularly on issues of race.

Following the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Booker's reporting broadened to include a focus on young activists pushing for changes to federal and state gun laws, including the March For Our Lives rally and national school walkouts.

Prior to joining NPR's national desk, Booker spent five years as a producer/reporter for NPR's political unit. He spent most to the 2016 presidential campaign cycle covering the contest for the GOP nomination and was the lead producer from the Trump campaign headquarters on election night. Booker served in a similar capacity from the Louisville campaign headquarters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he produced pieces and filed dispatches from the Republican and Democratic National conventions, as well as from President Obama's reelection site in Chicago.

In the summer of 2014, Booker took a break from politics to report on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Booker started his career as a show producer working on nearly all of NPR's magazine programs, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and former news and talk show Tell Me More, where he produced the program's signature Barbershop segment.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University and was a 2015 Kiplinger Fellow. When he's not on the road, Booker enjoys discovering new brands of whiskey and working on his golf game.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

Former President Donald Trump's legal team opened its impeachment defense Friday by characterizing the proceedings as an "unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance."

Attorney Michael van der Veen added it was an abuse of the Constitution that only serves to further divide the nation.

Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET

Impeachment managers Thursday argued that former President Donald Trump not only incited his supporters to lay siege to the Capitol complex last month but also showed no contrition for the destruction and the bloodshed his supporters caused at his direction.

"We saw both during the attack as well as in the days after the attack that this was a president who showed no remorse and took no accountability," Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., told senators.

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., opened the second day of impeachment proceedings by rejecting the defense's argument that former President Donald Trump's remarks at a rally prior to the Capitol attack are protected speech under the First Amendment.

Raskin said that Trump was not merely a private citizen walking down the street expressing his support for the overthrow of the federal government. The former constitutional law professor said if Trump were, his speech would be protected.

As former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial unfolds, a group of nine House Democrats will have the task of prosecuting the case before the Senate whose members will serve as jurors.

When former President Donald Trump's historic second Senate impeachment trial gets underway Tuesday, he'll be relying on a legal trio that was hastily thrust together a little more than a week ago.

A confirmed COVID-19 case at a quarantine hotel in Melbourne, Australia, is forcing organizers of a major tennis tournament to mandate that more than 500 players and their staffs "be tested and isolate until they receive a negative test result" just days before play is set to begin.

Athletes prepping for the Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam tournament and scheduled for Feb. 8 – 21, will not be permitted to leave their rooms until they test negative for the coronavirus.

Updated 12:45 p.m. ET

Brian Sicknick, the slain U.S. Capitol Police officer who was given the rare distinction of lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, received a final tribute from lawmakers Wednesday. President Biden and first lady Jill Biden joined Sicknick's family members and colleagues from the Capitol Police in a period of visitation on Tuesday night.

Sicknick, 42, died from injuries he sustained fending off members of the mob that breached the Capitol complex on Jan. 6.

Updated at 10:29 p.m. ET

Brian Sicknick, the U.S. Capitol Police officer who was fatally injured during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol complex, has been given the rare distinction of lying in honor in the building's Rotunda.

President Biden and Jill Biden briefly joined family members and colleagues from the Capitol Police in a period of visitation on Tuesday night.

New York state lawmakers have introduced legislation that bans law enforcement officers from using chemical irritants on minors.

It was a quick response to Rochester Police pepper-spraying a handcuffed 9-year-old girl as officers were responding to a call of a family disturbance last week. Video of the girl's encounter with police was released by city officials, sparking protests in the city Monday evening.

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