Protesters removed from Sessions hearing

In this Nov. 17, 2016, photo, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. speaks to media at Trump Tower in New York. As a senator, Sessions became Congress’ leading advocate not only for a crackdown on illegal immigration, but for slowing all immigration, along with mass deportations and stricter scrutiny of those entering the U.S. As attorney general, he’d be well positioned to turn those ideas into reality. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the Senate confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s selection for attorney general (all times EST):

10:05 a.m.

Opening two days of hearings on President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley says fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions “is a man of honor and integrity, dedicated to the faithful and fair enforcement of the law.”

Sessions is a member of the Judiciary panel. Democrats on the committee have expressed concerns about whether the Alabama Republican can be non-political in his role as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

Grassley says Sessions is a man “who knows well and deeply respects” the role of the Department of Justice. He noted that Sessions questioned previous attorney general nominees on whether they could be independent.

Like Sessions has previously, Grassley criticized the Obama administration for not enforcing some criminal and immigration laws.

___

9:35 a.m

Two men wearing Klu Klux Klan costumes were removed from the confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, after they caused a disruption.

As security took them out of the room, they yelled, “you can’t arrest me, I am white!” and “white people own this government!”

Civil liberties advocates have seized on Sessions’ voting record and his appearances before groups that espouse harsh views on Muslims and immigrants. He was rejected for a federal judgeship by the Senate Judiciary Committee 30 years ago amid accusations of racial insensitivity.

In a prepared opening statement, Sessions says he understands “the history of civil rights and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters.”

___

9:20 a.m

Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, is expected to outline his conservative priorities for the Justice Department in two days of confirmation hearings that open Tuesday. In his opening statement released before the hearing, he says the office of attorney general “is not a political position” and anyone who holds it must be faithful to laws and the Constitution.

The Alabama senator says he understands the history of civil rights “and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters.”

Democrats have questioned Sessions’ record on civil rights and whether he would be able to be independent of Trump’s administration. They also are likely to press him on his hard-line stance on immigration policy.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s