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Defending Senator Jeff Sessions

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

My first job out of law school on Capitol Hill was as a counsel for Senator Bob Smith (R-NH) working on the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1999. When I was there, I had the honor of seeing the work of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), as well as the work of former Attorney General John Ashcroft and Vice President Joe Biden.


I had deep respect for Sen. Jeff Sessions back then and I continue to have a deep respect for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next Attorney General now.

That is why it is deeply disturbing to me that the left has targeted Sessions to be the latest victim of the politics of personal destruction. Make no mistake, this is nothing more than payback for President-elect Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton. Democrats see Senator Sessions as a good target and they want to put some lead on that target as a means to weaken a Trump presidency.

The great irony that is being lost in this debate is that most senators know Jeff Sessions well. And members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who have worked hand in hand with Senator Sessions on hearings and mark-ups know him even better. It is silly for any liberal senator to argue that they don’t have enough information to assess the abilities and views of Senator Sessions, because he may be the Trump nominee they know the best.

Democrats are using a playbook containing two strategies. First, argue process and make believe that Sessions is hiding something. Second, call him a racially insensitive politician. Senate Democrats know Sessions well enough to know that he harbors no racial animus, yet they will implement a game plan to paint Sessions as a bad man.


It is ironic that the same Senate Democrats who argued that the Senate should be a rubber stamp for President Obama’s liberal nominees, and who went as far as to obliterate the Senate’s rules requiring 60 votes to shut down debate, are now crying wolf. Liberal politicians now want the power to obstruct and block, yet they were the same ones who rubber stamped Obama nominee after Obama nominee and argued that Republican slow walking of Obama nominees was unconstitutional.

Another irony is that Senate Democrats were silent when Obama’s Attorney Generals engaged in controversial behavior. Democrats did not complain when Attorney General Eric Holder defended Obama’s anti-terrorism policies that violated due process, called America a “nation of cowards” and was held in contempt of Congress for withholding documents from congressional oversight. Democrats defended Attorney General Loretta Lynch after she met with the Democratic nominee for President’s husband, Bill Clinton, for an extended period alone while Hillary Clinton was the subject of an investigation for mishandling classified information.

Now comes Senator Jeff Sessions who the left is in the process of painting as racially insensitive. They are not using any evidence of insensitivity during his 20-year Senate career. The most recent evidence of the character of Sessions is his Senate career, yet they are digging up old tired allegations that did nothing to stop Senator Sessions from winning election after election in Alabama.


When I was with The Heritage Foundation, I had the opportunity to sit in on a long conversation about the budget between a Heritage analysts and Senator Sessions. The Senator showed a deep understanding of the fiscal challenges facing the federal government and an intellectual curiosity to learn more about the issue. That is the Jeff Sessions I know.

The Senator Jeff Sessions I witnessed, and other liberal and conservative Senators see on a daily basis, is a smart man and an honorable individual. Just as Attorney General Holder and Lynch are liberals, former Attorney General Ashcroft and Jeff Sessions are conservatives.

Liberal Senators would be wise to drop the politics of race baiting and personal destruction and quickly confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States.

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