Sen Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearing for U.S. Attorney General | Jan 2017

Video Steam of Coverage of Sessions Confirmation Hearing

– The Hill

“Sessions pressed on Trump’s claims of voter fraud

4:50 p.m.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked Sessions if he agrees with President-elect Donald Trump, who has claimed on Twitter that millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the presidential election.

Sessions said he doesn’t know what Trump meant by that statement, but said elections needs to be managed closely.

“I do believe we regularly have fraudulent activity happen during an election cycle,” he said.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), noting he comes from an ocean state, asked if Sessions would use “real facts and real science” if he has to deal with the issue of climate change.

“That’s a good and fair question,” he responded. “Honesty and integrity in that process is required and if the facts justify a position on one side or another on a case, I would try to utilize those facts.”

“I don’t deny we have global warming,” he added. “It’s a question of how much is happening and what the reaction would be to it.”

Whitehouse also asked if Sessions believes a secular person has the same understanding of the truth as a religious individual.

“Well, I’m not sure,” Sessions responded, adding, “We’re going to treat anybody with difference views fairly and objectively.”

Freshman Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) asked Sessions about his views on the Second Amendment.

“I do believe the Second Amendment is a personal right, a historical right that the Constitution protects,” he said.

However, he added that certain people can forfeit their right to own a gun and noted that possessing a gun when committing a crime can increase a potential sentence.

“I think that’s a legitimate constraint on the right to bear arms,” he said.

Kennedy also asked for Sessions’ take on the Freedom of Information Act.

“The Freedom of Information Act is law and I would see it’s carried out,” Sessions said. “The policies of the country need to be followed.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Sessions if he’d recuse himself from any investigations into the Trump campaign or anyone who was part of the Trump campaign having any involvement into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

Sessions said earlier that he would recuse himself from any investigations into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server because he made comments during her campaign that could be construed as having an opinion.

He said he doesn’t believe he made any such comments about Trump.

“I would review it and try to do the right thing as to whether it should stay within the jurisdiction of the attorney general or not,” he said.

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) asked Sessions if the Department of Justice has to defend federal agencies that overreach their executive authority.

Sessions said federal agencies have been focused on their own agendas and have not asked for the DOJ’s opinion on whether their interpretation of a statute is sound or not.

“Basically these agencies are set about their own agendas … and not giving respect to the rule of law and asking did Congress really intend this,” he said.

“Those are kind of things we need to guard against.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) noted that Sessions has been endorsed by a group called Operation Rescue, which he said has been accused of advocating for the execution of abortion providers.

After he displayed a wanted poster disseminated by the group, he asked Sessions if he would disavow the group’s endorsement as attorney general. (The group released a statement Tuesday afternoon blasting the way Blumenthal’s characterization.)

“I disavow any activity like that or a group that would even suggest that is unacceptable,” Sessions said.

“I would enforce the laws that make clear a person that wants to receive a lawful abortion cannot be blocked by protesters.”

Sessions said he’s not in favor of abortion, but will enforce the law.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-N.Y.) led the Democratic charge to dig into how Sessions would approach voting rights and his support for voter ID laws that liberals say disenfranchise minorities.

Sessions said the Voting Rights Act – which he voted to extend in 2013 – is “intrusive,” as the term is legally defined, because it applies only to a handful of offending states.

But he launched into passionate defense of the law.

“The Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 was one of the most important acts to deal with racial difficulties we face and it changed the course of history, particularly in the South…where there were discriminatory activities, states systematically denying individuals the right to vote. You can see plainly the actions and procedures adopted to block African Americans from voting. It was just wrong and the Voting Rights Act confronted that.”

Still, Sessions voiced his support for voter ID laws, which he said would not keep minorities from voting. Liberals strongly disagree.”

….Continue reading @ The Hill

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