WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - It was day two of the Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) confirmation hearing, but the attorney general pick was not present. Multiple panels of witnesses appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Senators questioned them on Sessions’ ability to head the Department of Justice.
Cornell Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, says he is not sure Senator Sessions (R-AL) can see or prosecute discrimination.
It was a fiery second part to the confirmation hearing, filled with outsiders speaking to his character and qualifications. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were back with tough questions for witnesses firmly divided over whether he is fit to lead the DOJ.
"If you listen carefully, what you heard in terms of answers to those tough questions were answers that indicated very clearly that he should not be our attorney general," said Cornell Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP.
In his testimony, Brooks called some of Sessions’ ideas "xenophobic" and made it clear that he is troubled by his record on voting rights.
"We’re hoping that the American public listens, the American public picks up the telephone, call your senators and tell them 'vote no’ on Senator Sessions," said Brooks.
Brooks says he is mainly concerned with what he says is Sessions’ inability to see and prosecute discrimination. But Willie J. Huntley Jr., a former assistant US attorney in Alabama, says Sessions will protect everyone as attorney general.
"The racism...I don’t see Jeff, never saw Jeff, never thought Jeff was a racist," said Huntley Jr.. "I just don’t see that. I believe in the man, and I know he’ll do a great job as attorney general."
Huntley Jr. says he cannot speak to Sessions as a legislator, but he knows him as a U.S. attorney and says he will follow the law.
"The rest of the country will wake up and say, at the end of his term, ‘We had a great attorney general,'" said Huntley Jr.
A full Senate vote on Sessions' confirmation is expected sometime after Trump’s inauguration.