Listen: Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson deems Jeff Sessions racist
In the newest episode of AL(dot)com’s Reckon podcast, health care reporter Amy Yurkanin offers her findings from a deep dive into former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ early years as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Alabama. There wasn’t much included in the borderline-smearing Reckon podcast that was complimentary of the Mobile native.
Yurkanin, who apparently was not able to find anyone with anything nice to say about Sessions during his time in the U.S. attorney’s office or at any time before 1986, interviewed long-time Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson about Sessions’ relationship with Thomas Figures, an attorney who worked under Sessions while an assistant U.S. Attorney.
Figures, a Carter-era holdover working in the U.S. Attorney’s office under Sessions, testified against his former boss in a 1986 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when Sessions was appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan to the federal bench. Sessions’ nomination failed to make it through committee to the floor of the U.S. Senate, and it was believed Figures’ testimony played a role in that.
Figures went on to represent Noble Beasley, a friend of Richardson. Beasley was later convicted and served 28 years for his role in a crack cocaine conspiracy. Figures would face his own legal troubles stemming from that case.
Nonetheless, in discussing that relationship and Sessions efforts to prosecute Figures, Richardson accused Sessions of having a negative view of African-Americans and also suggested the name given to him at birth foretold his future attitude on race.
“Jeff Sessions in his heart figured that was the place in society for black people,” Richardson said in audio that sounded as if it were captured by 1980s-era Fisher Price cassette tape recorder. “His name, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions – Beauregard was a general in the Confederate Army. He was a general. Jefferson was Jefferson Davis – was the head of the Confederacy. They didn’t want to leave no doubt about who that boy was.”
“They named him Jefferson Beauregard Sessions,” he added in a whisper.
Sessions is named for his father and grandfather, with a legal name of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a favorite of Sessions’ detractors.