On Tuesday, Senator Sessions’ confirmation hearing managed to remain uncommonly cordial throughout a provocative line of questioning from Senate Democrats. That is, until Senator Al Franken (D- Minn.) accused Jeff Sessions of lying about his record.
Franken focused on Sessions’ career, essentially claiming that the Alabama Senator lied about the number of civil rights cases he handled during his time as a U.S. Attorney.
“Our country needs an attorney general who doesn’t misrepresent or inflate their level of involvement on any given issue,” Franken said. He then went on to grill Sessions on whether or not he personally prosecuted between 20 or 30 desegregation cases, which Sessions had previously claimed involvement in during a 2009 interview with the National Review.
Sessions answered Franken by making it clear that his record was being distorted, citing specific examples of his involvement with cases that the Minnesota Senator had brought into question.
Franken acknowledged that he was not a lawyer, but continued to hammer Sessions over the semantics surrounding the Alabama Senator’s involvement in the cases.
Later in the day, Texas Senator Ted Cruz managed to straighten out the accusations, pointing out that Franken had conveniently withheld evidence from his questioning that showed his sources to be faulty.
“It is unfortunate to see members of this body impugn the integrity of a fellow senator with whom we have served for years,” Sen. Cruz said. “It is particularly unfortunate when that attempt is not backed up by fact.”
“There is no question that you have been forthright with this committee, and I would note that members of this committee do not have to search far and wide to know who Jeff Sessions is. We’ve known everyday sitting on this bench next to you,” Cruz added.