As Sessions walked in… pic.twitter.com/4cmgzRL2q2
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) January 10, 2017
Protestors dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan interrupted Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Attorney General-designateJeff Sessions, chiding the Alabama senator for past allegations of racist comments.
Sen. Sessions greeted by protesters at first day of confirmation hearings. pic.twitter.com/OOwVoU36TH
— Lydia Wheeler (@WheelerLydia) January 10, 2017
Seconds after the protests began, Capitol Police restrained the protestors and escorted them out of the hearing.
Sessions served as a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump during his election and has a long career in law and on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is holding his confirmation hearings.
The first of Trump’s picks to face a Congressional panel, Sessions is also one of the most controversial.
Sessions’s 1986 nomination to a federal district judgeship was scuttled after accusations that Sessions had made racist comments during his time at the Department of Justice and called the NAACP un-American.
Democrats have pointed to those allegations in concert with the Justice Department’s purview of issues like voting rights and minority rights as reasons they are concerned about his nomination.
“Thirty years ago, the Senate rejected Sessions’ appointment to a federal judgeship because he was deemed too extreme then,” Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile said in a statement Tuesday morning.
If they confirm him now, Republicans will be turning back the clock on all the progress we’ve made as a nation.”
But Sessions has denied those comments and his allies have furiously fought back against those allegations.
In a statement to The Hill last week, his spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores blasted the accusations as a “smear campaign.”
“Senator Sessions’ four decade career in public service includes bipartisan victories on criminal justice issues … and bipartisan endorsements that include law enforcement, victims rights organizations, and African American leaders,” she said.
Republicans have also touted a slew of recent endorsements from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the highest profile black Republicans, who defended Sessions’ work to protect Americans from “injustice” in a statement to CNN.