Join Me: Stand With Jeff

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Why I Stand With Jeff Sessions

By Senator Luther Strange

This column originally appeared in The Hill (3/9/17) and Yellowhammer News (3/10/17)

When I first met Jeff Sessions years ago, I was a young man hoping to make a difference in government. He was an all-star attorney who agreed to have breakfast in the Department of Justice cafeteria. I managed to arrive to the meeting without my wallet, and embarrassed, had to ask my new contact to pay for my breakfast. Jeff has long since become a close friend, but I am forever in his debt.

In February, as I sat through ten hours of questioning during the confirmation hearing for Jeff’s nomination to be our next Attorney General, I learned that the Senate job I aspired to came with high expectations and intense scrutiny. Unfortunately, in Washington, intense scrutiny can mean character assassination. In this case, the tradition of the Senate giving its “advice and consent” to an incoming administration’s nominees was replaced by political theater. 

Watching all this then, I did not think Democrats could stoop any lower. As we learned last week, they can.

Not only are the recent attacks against Jeff hypocritical, they are entirely divorced from reality. As Attorney General Sessions made clear immediately when this latest diversion erupted last week, his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was correct, and his answers were given within the context of the questions asked. Democrats know that meetings between Senators and foreign ambassadors happen nearly every day, especially for a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. 

For years, I have watched Jeff Sessions do right by the people of Alabama, and I would be hard pressed to think of a more honest person. Both as state Attorney General and as U.S. Senator, he has held himself to the highest standard of ethics. 

But the recent attempts to cast doubt over the integrity of the Attorney General are only the latest in a disappointing pattern of behavior by Democrats in Washington. I’ve been on the job for a month, but I am already learning that their unwillingness to respect the decision of the American people may be par for the course. They have not missed a beat in trying to undermine the Trump administration as it gets to work on cleaning up the mess they inherited.

At the Justice Department alone, critical fixes to Obama-era missteps are already underway, and it is critical that the Attorney General, after exhaustive vetting and Senate confirmation, be given the opportunity to carry out his duties as America’s top cop. Under Jeff Sessions, the Department can be trusted to protect the integrity of elections by rigorously investigating voter fraud and strengthening the wall between the justice system and political influence. The nation deserves no less. 

Jeff Sessions’ record as a public servant and champion of the rule of law exposes the recent commotion for the distraction that it is. My Republican colleagues and I are already working with the administration to bolster national security and uphold the judiciary. The American people can’t afford to wait for the other side of the aisle to come along for the ride.

No one knows this better than my friend, and the right man for the job, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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