When Donald Trump picked Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general, many critics pointed to the Alabama senator’s murky past—which includes accusations of racism—as reason enough to disqualify him from serving as the country’s top legal official. Well, it appears Sessions himself, agrees.
According to The Huffington Post, a new report from progressive advocacy groups like People for the American Way and Alliance for Justice, reveals that Sessions withheld large chunks of his past in a questionnaire leading up to his Senate confirmation hearings, which are scheduled to unfold in early January.
According to The Post, the questionnaire requires “complete documentation of employment history, published writings, interviews and speeches,” which Sessions failed to provide. Among the details missing is Sessions' 1986 quest to become a federal judge, a position he was denied after former colleagues accused him of racially insensitive remarks. According to Sessions’ deputy at the time, he once joked that the Ku Klux Klan was okay, “until he learned that they smoked marijuana.”
Sessions also failed to provide transcripts of recent interviews he’s given, namely ones in which he defended Trump’s many sexist comments, and other in which he denied climate change.
The irony here is that Sessions has a long history of accusing past nominees for doing precisely what he’s now being accused of. In 2009, Sessions went after Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, calling her questionnaire “incomplete.” The following year, he called judicial nominee Goodwin Liu’s incomplete questionnaire “potentially disqualifying.”
Nan Aron of Alliance for Justice called Sessions out for his glaring hypocrisy. “Sen. Sessions’ nomination package is still nowhere near ready for prime time, and it’s hypocritical that he so frequently slammed past nominees for submitting incomplete documents only to do the same thing himself,” she said in a statement. “So why not just slow down, give everyone the time they need to find everything and review everything, and not rush this really critical nomination through without allowing for due diligence.”
Spokespeople from Trump’s transition team and for Senator Sessions could not be reached for comment.