The panel is actually anticipated to approve along with advance Sessions for a vote inside full Senate.
Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley opened the session that has a pre-emptive defense of Sessions.
“He knows the department better than any nominee for attorney general, he’s a man of his word, along with most importantly he will enforce the law no matter whether he could have supported which law as a member of the Senate,” Grassley, R-Iowa, said.
nevertheless the panel’s top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, lit into Sessions, tying him to the travel ban along with different actions through the brand-new Trump administration.
“Not one order idea or pronouncement is actually meant to bring This specific country together; they only serve to drive us further apart,” Feinstein said. “the idea is actually in This specific context we are being asked to consider This specific nomination.”
Feinstein read through a Washington Post article which touted Sessions’ deep influence in Trump’s brand-new administration — including highlights of the Alabama senator’s loyalists working on policy.
“How could we possibly conclude which This specific nominee is actually going to be independent?” Feinstein said.
Sessions has denied he was involved in drafting Trump’s travel ban. In written responses to the Judiciary Committee, he wrote: “Neither I, nor any of my current staff, had such a role.”
Feinstein also ticked through a list of attacks, saying Sessions may support overturning Roe v. Wade along with had previously voiced support for enhanced interrogation — a heated item following Trump’s musings about trying to bring back waterboarding.
“These positions give me no confidence the nominee will uphold our laws along with civil liberties as attorney general,” Feinstein said.
Committee Democrats held up former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was fired by Trump Monday night after directing Justice Department lawyers to not defend his travel ban, as a contrast against Sessions along with Trump.
“During the campaign, President Trump sought my along with my staff’s input on quite a few matters on which I have taken very public positions as a senator; however, the idea could be impossible for me to know the degree to which which input was relied upon in formulating or drafting the Executive Orders in question,” Sessions wrote.
Grassley echoed which Tuesday morning.
“Some on the order side have raised concerns about Sen. Sessions, whether he’s involved, if he was involved in drafting the executive order. the idea’s not clear to me why the idea could be a problem if he was involved. nevertheless the fact of the matter is actually he was not involved,” Grassley said.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a veteran Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, focused more of his attacks on Trump than Sessions.
The Vermont Democrat picked through Trump’s widely debunked claims of voter fraud, ending by saying: “The next thing we’re going to hear is actually which unicorns voted.”
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, dismissed the Democratic outcry as sour grapes over the election results.
“Our friends on the different side seem to be upset about the outcome of the election on November 8. I guess you could say they’re going through the stages of grief,” he said.
He added which Yates, the acting AG, should have resigned if she felt she couldn’t execute her job.
“What she should have done if she couldn’t do her job was to quit … I believe President Trump was entirely within his rights to fire her,” he said.
sy88pgw’s Laura Jarrett contributed to This specific report.