Senator Al Franken never disappoints, especially in his hard-hitting inquisition of Jeff Sessions in today's A.G. Senate Confirmation Hearings. Jeff Sessions stated, numerous times, that he's definitely not a racist, I mean really, he has Black friends. Fortunately, for the sake of fairness, Franken remembers a bit more about his questionable history. Franken goes in with some heavy facts about his alleged involvement in pro-civil rights support filings.
Here we pick up on the discussion about some of the particular assertions he's made that he led the way in cases that combat racism.
FRANKEN: One of the cases --
SESSIONS: No, you raised this question.
FRANKEN One of the cases that you listed was a case that Mr. Rich handled. if you don't know him, it's hard for me to believe that you personally handled it.
SESSIONS: Well, when I found that -- these cases, I had been supportive.
Franken corrects him.
SESSIONS: Mr. Hebert says, "yet I have needed Mr. Sessions' help in those cases, and he has provided that help every step of the way. In fact, I would say that my experience with Mr. Sessions has led me to believe that I have received more cooperation from him, more active involvement from him because i have called upon him." "I have worked side-by-side with him on some cases in the sense that I have had to go to him for some advice."
FRANKEN: In some cases. Not necessarily the ones you listed.
SESSIONS: (Ed. Note: Clearly lying) Well, it was 30 years ago, and my memory was of this nature, and my memory was my support for those cases.
FRANKEN: Your memory. okay. look, I am not --I'm one of the few members of this committee who is not a lawyer. The chairman, the ranking are, but when I hear I filed a case, I don't know some of the parlance. It might have a special meaning in legal parlance, but to me as a layman, it sounds to me like filed means I led the case or I supervised the case. It doesn't mean that my name was on it. And it seems to me -- look, I'll close, Mr. Chairman. setting aside any political or ideological differences you and I may have, DOJ is facing real challenges, whether it's protecting civil rights or defending national security, and our country needs an Attorney General who doesn't misrepresent or inflate their level of involvement on any given issue. I consider this serious stuff. as I know you would if you were in my position.↓ Story continues below ↓
SESSIONS: Well, you are correct, Senator Franken. we need to be accurate in what we say. When this issue was raised, I did do a supplemental that said I provided assistance and guidance to civil rights division of attorneys and had an open door policy with them and cooperated with them on these cases." i signed them. i supported cases, and i attempted to bes as effective as i could be in helping them be successful in these historic cases. I feel that they were the kind of cases that were national in scope and deserved to be listed on the form. If I'm in error, I apologize to you. I don't think I was.
FRANKEN: Well, you couldn't find 20 or 30 desegregation cases that you stated you had participated in, and you don't sound like you personally handled cases that you said you personally --
SESSIONS: that was on a radio interview without any records, and that was my memory at the time.
There were plenty of folks who noticed this on Twitter.
I'll add: this is a really important issue Franken was questioning him on. It's not just that he claimed to work on cases he didn't work on.
— Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) January 10, 2017
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that @alfranken - though not a lawyer - just eviscerated Jeff Sessions over his resume inflation.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 10, 2017
Al Franken is the ONLY person who isnt a Lawyer to act like a lawyer and ask real questions #ConfirmationHearings
— BB Chronicles (@StephBee8111) January 10, 2017
Al Franken, in testy exchange with Sessions: "Our country needs an AG who doesn't misrepresent."
— Eileen De Freest (@eileendefreest) January 10, 2017