Senate lawmakers put Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions through the ringer on Capitol Hill Tuesday as confirmation hearings began for Donald Trump’s top cabinet picks. Sessions was straightforward under pressure as he attempted to dissolve the accusations of racism coming from Democrats who have vowed to oppose his appointment.
With leftist protesters, wearing Klan robes, protesting the hearings, Sessions beat back allegations that he was a racist. The Alabama senator denounced the “caricature” of him that had been created by his political opponents. He said he resented the “false charges” being cast against him, including the story that he once expressed appreciation for the KKK.
“I deeply understand the history of civil rights and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters,” Sessions said at one point.
In addition to answering questions about racism, Sessions broke with Donald Trump on a few issues. He said that he considered waterboarding a form of torture that should be illegal, and he distanced himself from Trump’s proposal to halt Muslim immigration. On the matter of Hillary Clinton, Sessions said he would remove himself from any investigation that might take place.
“We can never have a political dispute turn into a criminal dispute,” Sessions said when asked about Clinton.
It’s no surprise to see Democrats go after Sessions with everything they have. Not only are they committed to fighting any Trump nominee, they are especially concerned about people like Sessions, where a long conservative record speaks for itself.
But that conservative record is exactly why Sessions is the right fit for the Department of Justice. Over the years, he has used his voice in the Senate to keep Obama from closing Gitmo, to support police officers under attack, and to fight against immigration bills that would erode U.S. sovereignty.
This is in sharp contrast to Obama’s Justice Department, which has only existed to further the president’s liberal agenda. With Sessions in charge, the DOJ can stop chasing Obama’s social experiments and start enforcing the laws of the land.