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WATCH LIVE: Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearing for Attorney General

WATCH LIVE: Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearing for Attorney General

The first confirmation hearing for Trump’s Cabinet.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has begun his confirmation hearing for attorney general. We have a live stream in this post.

This is expected to be one of the most tense confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet. The Democrats will ask Sessions about his record on civil rights and female rights. However, the GOP holds the majority in the Senate so more than likely he will receive confirmation.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) critiqued every single award Sessions received, trying so hard to find him guilty by association.

Former Senator Joe Lieberman said he would have voted for Sessions’s nomination.

(Can senators stop asking the same question over and over!?)

Sessions, again, says he will not support a Muslim registry.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NB) wants Sessions to tell him after confirmation how he will list cases by priority, citing a case of an immigrant who street raced and killed Sarah Root. Everyone asked the feds to step in after the man posted bond and disappeared.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wanted to know if Sessions would help them and the FBI to get permission to get into terrorists’ personal electronics. The FBI had an ongoing fight with Apple to get into iPhones from terrorists.

Sessions tells the committee, once again, he will enforce the antitrust laws.

Sen. Ted Cruz once again proving that Sessions is not a racist. Pointing out his prosecution Klansmen who murdered black people in Alabama. He also helped to bankrupt the KKK in the state.

Whitehouse is also asking Sessions about climate change. Is Sessions going to arrest Mother Nature?

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) wants to know if Sessions will ignore pressure from right-wing websites to cleanse the DOJ of the career attorneys that hired. Basically, in a long winded answer, he said he would.

Again, Sessions said he will uphold the laws we have, even if he opposed them while serving as a senator.

Is Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) really asking Sessions about if he would uphold laws against sexual abuse? Yes. He’s really asking Sessions if it’s sexual assault to grab a woman on her genitals without her permission.

Sessions said that anyone who comes from areas with a high risk of terrorism should have more vetting.

Sessions will also do what he needs to do to make sure no one is harassed or blocked from accessing abortion clinics.

Sessions has no plans on voting for his confirmation or other cabinet nominations.

Sen. Ted Cruz listed the corruption within the DOJ during Obama’s years. But he knows that Sessions will uphold the law. Cruz said that Obama’s DOJ has been overly politicized, including the solicitor general’s office.

We have returned. Question to Sessions: Alabama used to handcuff its prisoners to hitching posts. Sessions said the governor wanted the prisoners to work. But SCOTUS struck down hitching posts, which means Sessions wouldn’t use them now.

RECESS UNTIL 1:40PM ET

Time for Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)! He brings up the civil rights cases he worked on. Sessions said he actually filed fewer civil rights cases that he thought, but some of those he worked on were already underway. Honestly, halfway through the questioning, I lost where Franken was going.

Asked about Russian interference on the election. He says that there is no reason to doubt the intelligence agencies:

Asked about Voting Rights Act:

Sessions told Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) that he will help Trump achieve goals as long as they’re lawful. He doesn’t think special prosecutors should be appointed “willy nilly” as well. But in the right situation he will appoint one. He criticized AG Loretta Lynch for nota appointing one for the Hillary investigation.

Sessions now asked if the DOJ and FBI will be allowed to investigate a Russian connection to the Trump campaign. He said of course if there are laws violated:

Bringing up the voter fraud case, Sessions said people don’t fully understand the case. The people asked him to get involved and the plaintiffs were black people, but people hardly bring up that fact,

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) does not believe Sessions can enforce immigration laws. Session insists that he would uphold any laws that Congress passes regarding that situation. He once again said that his role as AG is not to sway policy.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Sessions to address how it makes it feel when people call him a racist:

Sessions said he still thinks this way, but acknowledged that it’s the law of the land and he will respect and uphold it.

Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asks about sex trafficking.

https://twitter.com/woodruffbets/status/818848242708447232

Sessions promised to uphold the law.

Sessions said he would recuse himself from any issues pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s email and foundation due to his comments he made on the campaign trail.

First question:

Sessions said he will have the ability to stand up to Trump and say no.

Sessions has started his opening statement in front of the committee. He said he would not allow politics to influence his decisions, respects impartiality under the law. He also addressed the abandonment that police officers feel across the country:

He also addressed allegations of racial prejudice he faced in 1986 at a judicial confirmation hearing:

https://twitter.com/woodruffbets/status/818842858992111616

https://twitter.com/MichaelRWarren/status/818843148759789568

Before it even started, protestors filled the room.

https://twitter.com/redsteeze/status/818826364992319488

The Senate Judiciary Committee announced new additions to the witness list:

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Comments

It is incredible the lengths a white man has to go to prove his lack of racism. Talk about bigoted. All white men are racist until they prove they are not. Really, really sick of this…

A sitting Senator, Booker from NJ, is going to give testimony from the witness seat to his other Senator colleagues in opposition to the appointment of another sitting Senator to the office of AG.

Excuse me, but doesn’t whole idea of open debate in the legislative body of the Senate, as well as the Constitution’s own Speech & Debate Clause (in terms of protection from any civil actions), give someone like Booker all the opportunity he wants to air his grievances, a la Festivus, against Sessions?

Doesn’t the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Grassley, have any control over the witness list, and can’t he make this very point to Booker?

    Tom Servo in reply to fscarn. | January 10, 2017 at 11:19 am

    What I expect out of these hearings:

    Cory Booker: “WE WUZ IN DA GYM AND HE CALLED ME BOY!!!”

    Grassley: “um, was anyone else there?”

    Booker: “NO AND DATS WHY HE DID IT!!!”

    Grassley: “Well, what happened next?”

    Booker: “DEN HE TOUCHED ME IN MY NO-NO PLACE!!!”

      MattMusson in reply to Tom Servo. | January 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

      Shielded from Libel laws – Booker can say exactly that.

        Milhouse in reply to MattMusson. | January 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm

        He’s shielded for anything he says as a legislator. I don’t think he is shielded for what he says in his capacity as a witness. If he lies under oath he can be liable, not just for perjury but also for contempt of congress, and if he blatantly makes something up he could be liable for defamation as well.

          Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | January 10, 2017 at 3:43 pm

          Exactly. And the point which I was attempting to make mockingly was, if he isn’t going to lie, then what is he going to testify about? Testimony by its nature implies some specialized knowledge not available to the body hearing such testimony, in this case the Senate Committee. Booker’s only experience with Session has been in the Senate; they’ve even co-sponsored a bill or two together. So did something nefarious happen there that only Booker knows about?

          Or is he just going to sit there and “testify” that Sessions is bad because some of his political opinions are different than Booker’s political opinions? And if that’s all he has, what the hell is he doing calling such pap “testimony”???

      “Den he gave me a Coke wit a pubic hair on it!”

      Massinsanity in reply to Tom Servo. | January 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      Not in the least bit helpful or funny Tom.

    alaskabob in reply to fscarn. | January 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

    I see this as the Dems spotlighting their new Obama clone to bring him into national attention. Except he has actually done something before showing up to vote present. This isn’t about Sessions…it is about the future look of the Dem Party.

      great unknown in reply to alaskabob. | January 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      It would have worked until recently, when MSM would have covered up the hypocrisy and dishonesty inherent in Booker’s criticism. That no longer obtains, as the MSM has become the alt-media, that a large majority of Americans recognize as fraudulent and – like Jon Stewart, e.g. – interesting only for their entertainment value.

      Which is another thing for which I am grateful for to PEOTUS.

      Booker’s past history is going to be fun if he runs. He’s just another dem sleaze.

    MattMusson in reply to fscarn. | January 10, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Remember – Senator Booker can say ANYTHING he wants to. He is shielded from libel laws when he speaks from the Senate. He can make up any lie he likes.

      Milhouse in reply to MattMusson. | January 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

      He’s shielded for what he says on the floor, or from his seat on a committee. I don’t think he’s shielded for what he says as a witness.

        Joe-dallas in reply to Milhouse. | January 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm

        Normally his testimony as a witness would not be covered, same as an attorney would not be covered under attorney client privilege as a fact witnes – except under article 1 section 6, his testimony would exempt since he is physically in the capital building while he is a member of congress.
        So he can lie all he wants as a witness and still be immune.

          Milhouse in reply to Joe-dallas. | January 10, 2017 at 6:56 pm

          I don’t see anything there about immunity for what he says as a witness. He’s immune for whatever he says in speech and debate; testimony is neither.

          Joe-dallas in reply to Joe-dallas. | January 12, 2017 at 8:22 am

          Milhouse- “I don’t see anything there about immunity for what he says as a witness. He’s immune for whatever he says in speech and debate; testimony is neither.”

          The speech and debate clause is quite broad. Even though his “testimony is as a witness” or couched as a witness, it is still on the senate floor / hearing room and still covered by the broad speech and debate clause.
          The distinction between witness/attorney/prosecutor doesnt exist under the speech and debate clause.

Is this nothing more than virtue signaling from Democrats since they can’t stop the confirmation??

Mailman

    UnCivilServant in reply to mailman. | January 10, 2017 at 10:41 am

    The strategy is to wear down the resolve in an attempt to get the senate and the administration to cave on some of the appointees. The only appropriate response is to move ahead with the process and not give in.

    More like pre-emptive jury tampering. By shouting ‘Racist!’ now, they can take anything he does from now on and shout ‘See! We told you so!’ even if/when there’s nothing there.

The only cloud I see is that the vaunted Republican majority in the Senate includes some unreliable flakebots … so what would normally be a “solid majority” isn’t really all that solid.

I imagine that gladiators had much the same expression as Session does, before they entered into the arena with a gladius to face snarling, hungry animals. I wish the Senator tons of good luck.

It doesn’t appear that any of Hillary’s cabinet appointments will be approved today.

“Sessions said he would recuse himself from any issues pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s email and foundation due to his comments he made on the campaign trail.”

Hm. Do I detect a whiff of ‘Independent Prosecutor’ in the wind?

I am really beginning to loathe the GOPe. I have faithfully voted and supported these @sswipes for years. They now have the senate, the house and the executive office and they are going to piss it all away because they don’t like Trump. Watch what the misfits McCain and Graham do during these hearings to completely undermine the nominees only because they were Trump’s choice. They are despicable!

Code Pink returns after an 8 year slumber… can Cindy Sheehan be far behind?

    I don’t think anybody can just wander in off the street to these hearings. I think they need an invitation from a member of the committee.

    If so, I would like to propose that if more than two of any Senators’ guests are ejected from a hearing for causing a disturbance, that the Senator in question be automatically suspended from the privilege of inviting guests to any hearing for three months.

    I don’t see any downside of this for the Republicans. The Democrats, though…

      Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | January 11, 2017 at 1:50 am

      Judiciary Committee hearings are open to the public. The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room is located in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. During regular hearings, the room can accommodate approximately 40 members of the public. Admission to hearings is on a first come, first served basis, and members of the public are encouraged to arrive early, particularly for high profile hearings, to ensure they will be seated.

So I made the mistake of dialling in to hear some Democrat ask sessions if he would prosecute climate change laws based on every scientific establishment believing in Mann Made Global warming ™.

Apart from being utter bullocks he did answer the question well in saying essentially he would uphold the law (what a novelty, a US AG actually enforcing the law).

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