House Judiciary Dems come out against Sessions
Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee announced Saturday their opposition to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be attorney general.
The largely symbolic move from House members, who do not vote on Sessions’s confirmation, further establishes the Democratic Party’s line against Trump’s first cabinet selection.
“We acknowledge that elections have consequences, and that we may have policy disagreements with whomever the Trump Administration selects to lead the Department of Justice,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement led by Rep. John Conyers (Mich.), the committee’s ranking Democrat.
“Our concerns about this appointment are not mere policy disputes,” they continued.
“Senator Sessions does not seem fit to lead the Department of Justice. His selection can only serve to divide us. We urge President-elect Trump to select an Attorney General who is qualified to protect and defend the constitutional rights of all Americans.”
Sessions was rejected by the Senate in 1986 when Ronald Reagan nominated him for a federal judgeship after the then-prosecutor’s former colleagues testified that he had a history of making racially charged comments.
The Democrats’ statement on Saturday cited much of the testimony from that year, adding, “There is serious evidence that Sessions’ outlook has not improved.”
The group lashed out at Sessions’s stances on domestic violence and immigration, noting that the Southern Poverty Law Center has blasted his association with “deeply racist” anti-immigration activists.
“Mr. Sessions remains a favorite of Stormfront, an online bastion of white nationalism,” the joint statement reads. “His selection will reinforce the appointment of Steven Bannon, who built a media network dedicated to spreading bigoted, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic views.
“It doubles down on Mr. Trump’s association with figures like Frank Gaffney and Alex Jones, whose conspiracy theories would be laughable if they did not now threaten to undo decades of progress in America.”
Democrats are largely united in their opposition to Sessions, who is expected to have the support of the GOP-led Senate, though Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has backed the nominee.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has said he is “confident” Trump’s attorney general pick will be favorably reported by his committee.
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