Watch Jeff Sessions TRAPPED By Al Fraken During Cross Examination
Senator Al Franken is not letting Senator Jeff Sessions gaslight the Judiciary Committee about his civil rights record during hearings this week on Sessions’s nomination to serve as Attorney General by President-Elect Donald Trump.
Al Franken is the first Senator today to look and sound like he loathes Sessions and skip all the buddy-buddy crap. It is welcome.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) January 10, 2017
Franken asked Sessions about his grand claims to the National Review in 2009 in defense of his civil rights record, in which he claimed he “filed 20 or 30 civil rights cases to desegregate schools and political organizations and county commissions when I was United States attorney,” Sessions said.
“So 20 or 30 desegregation cases. Did I misread that quote?” Franken asks.
“I believe that’s what I have been quoted as saying. I suspect I said that,” Sessions replies.
Franken follows up:
“In November — your office said when Senator Sessions was U.S. Attorney he filed a number of desegregation lawsuits in Alabama. Not 20 or 30 this time, but a number. Tell me, did you file 20 or 30 desegregation cases, or is it some other number?”
Sessions doesn’t have any good answers for Franken, because Sessions claims to the National Review, and his claims on his Judiciary Committee Questionnaire response, wildly inflate his role in the cases cited.
Franken just got Sessions to admit he doesn't even know one of the lawyers who prosecuted a case Sessions claimed he personally prosecuted.
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) January 10, 2017
“Well, thank you, Senator Franken. It is important, first, to be accurate,” says Sessions.
“The records don’t show that there were 20 or 30 actually filed cases. Some of the cases involve multiple defendants and multiple parties like to a school board and a county commission being sued for racial discrimination or things of that nature, but the number would be less than that, as we’ve looked at.”
Franken asks what would have led him to say “20 or 30” if that number was inaccurate, and Sessions says he doesn’t know.
Sen Al Franken: "Did you work on these cases?" Lawyers say you didn't. Sessions, YOU OUT AND OUT LIED. pic.twitter.com/Ns0PQK7BeD
— Dr Kelly Sennholz (@MtnMD) January 10, 2017
Next Franken asks Sessions about some of the cases from his questionnaire submitted to the committee — in an op-ed in the Washington Post the lead attorneys on several of those cases denied Sessions had a significant role, some never even met him.
You originally said you personally handled three of these cases,” says Franken, “but these lawyers say that you had no substantive involvement. Chairman Grassley, I would ask that that op-ed from last Tuesday’s Washington Post be entered into the record. Without objection, it will be entered. Are they distorting your record here?”
Sessions claims that yes, at least one of the writers is distorting the record, that he had spent a lot of time in his office and actually raved about the support Sessions gave him.
The op-ed which that civil rights attorney co-authored begins:
Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions is trying to mislead his Senate colleagues, and the country, into believing he is a champion for civil rights. We are former Justice Department civil rights lawyers who worked on the civil rights cases that Sessions cites as evidence for this claim, so we know: The record isn’t Sessions’s to burnish. We won’t let the nominee misstate his civil rights history to get the job of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.
Watch Franken’s righteous inquisition: