President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, had a tough time explaining his role in multiple civil rights cases during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken asked Sessions about a questionnaire he submitted to the Judiciary Committee in which he listed several civil rights cases among his, “ten most significant litigated matters which you personally handled.”
Sessions is viewed by many Americans as a racist, which is evidenced by the ongoing protests against his nomination. He has criticized the NAACP and made lighthearted jokes about the Ku Klux Klan in the past. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that he would try to clean up his bad reputation by embellishing his contributions to civil rights cases.
Unfortunately for Sessions, he was unable to successfully execute his lie because the attorneys who actually oversaw the voting rights and desegregation cases that Sessions listed noted in a Washington Post op-ed that he actually played a miniscule role in those cases.
Franken called Sessions out on his lie, and a heated exchange ensued.
According to ThinkProgress, two of the attorneys confirmed that Sessions was not telling the truth during the hearing.
“It seems like, if you’re nominated to be a cabinet member, particularly the Attorney General, you ought to be telling the true story,” Attorney Joe D. Rich said. “That’s why we wrote the op-ed — this was not a true statement. I think he’s trying to paint a picture that he was a vigorous enforcer of the civil rights laws by saying this, and that’s not true. At the same time, he didn’t try to interfere; he didn’t try to stop us. But that he’s trying to claim something he didn’t do is a problem in my eyes.”
Is it a shocker that a right-wing politician handpicked by Trump would lie to make himself look good for a job he is unqualified for? Absolutely not.
This just goes to show the caliber of people who will be leading our country for at least the next four years. If Americans thought the government couldn’t be trusted before, we’d better keep an even closer eye on the Trump administration.