Crime-buster, waste-cutter Jeff Sessions has the record our attorney general needs
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American writer Mark Twain is credited with saying: "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior."

If this mantra is correct, then, U.S. Senator Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid MORE will deliver results as attorney general on prosecuting criminals, effectively managing the Justice Department and giving state and local law enforcement a trusted federal partner.


While the confirmation process will focus on Senator Sessions’ votes and statements in the Senate, his time as state attorney general in Alabama offers a relevant and pertinent comparison to how he will manage the Justice Department.


As Alabama attorney general, Jeff Sessions put a priority on criminal trials and dedicated the resources necessary to succeed. In turn, his office achieved significant guilty verdicts or convictions involving crimes of theft, capital murder, public corruption, illegal gambling, ethics violation and voter fraud.

In addition, he modernized the Medicaid Fraud Unit leading to 34 indictments and 33 convictions with recovered overpayments of over $1 million and fines and restitutions of over $200,000.

His Special Prosecutions Division received guilty verdicts or convictions in six major white-collar public corruption cases. And under his direction, the Consumer Affairs Division secured 14 convictions for violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act resulting in victims reclaiming more than $375,000.

These accomplishments occurred while Jeff Sessions simultaneously overhauled and streamlined the operations of the Alabama attorney general’s office.

When he took over, he inherited a bloated nearly 200-person office and a $5 million deficit.

Jeff Sessions proceeded to take the same actions that are now needed of him and President-elect Trump’s other Cabinet nominees in Washington to get the federal budget in line. He eliminated staff positions that were used to reward Democratic appointees with salaries above the state merit system scale. Further, salaries for remaining staffers were once again aligned with those of employees throughout state government.

He also reduced the department’s excessive number of automobiles, slashed unnecessary travel and excessive supplies, and closed underutilized office sites. The results of his steadfast management were a 19 percent reduction in the agency’s overall budget.

Under Sessions leadership as U.S. attorney general, state attorneys general and local law enforcement may prove to be the biggest beneficiaries. He understands the impact federal laws and regulations have on state and local enforcement particularly in the areas of immigration and elections. With both of these issues at the forefront now and over the coming years, Sessions experience should be highly valued.

Moreover, he is aware of the importance that must be placed on cooperation on intelligence gathering between all levels of government to battle terrorism, gang violence and lone-wolf attackers.

While, fairly or unfairly, President Obama was viewed by some as lackluster in his support of our law enforcement, President-elect Trump has made it crystal clear that the safety of Americans here at home is a top priority.

Sessions’ record shows he has the ability to restore the crucial relationship between the Justice Department and law enforcement.

It is also important to mention that the Democratic Party dominated the Alabama state legislature when Sessions served as state attorney general. Nonetheless, he found common ground with Democrats to pass laws dealing with land use, juvenile detention reform, charitable fraud prevention, sex crimes and victim’s rights, to highlight just a few areas.

For those not convinced of Twain’s mantra on the past as an indicator of future performance, perhaps the testimonial of a former colleague and occasional rival is.

During Sessions’ time as state attorney general, the Democratic state Senate Floor Leader Wendell Mitchell told the Birmingham News: “I'm very well-pleased. I think Jeff Sessions is handling his office in a very efficient and effective way.”

Regardless of how one comes to a conclusion, Senator Sessions should be confirmed promptly so he can get to work protecting Americans.

David Avella is the chairman of GOPAC, which is dedicated to educating and electing a new generation of Republican leaders, and a veteran Republican strategist.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.