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Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @ 6:03 AM
In his Senate confirmation hearing for the job of Attorney General in a Trump Administration, Sen. Jeff Session (R-AL) told his colleagues that he would not involve himself in any further investigations of email questions involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"Mr. Chairman, it was a highly contentious campaign," Sessions said, acknowledging that he and other Republicans had echoed the call of President-Elect Trump for further investigation - and possible prosecution of Clinton, Trump's main opponent in November.
"I believe the proper thing for me to do, would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations that involve Secretary Clinton, and were raised during the campaign," Sessions told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley.
In the hearing, Democrats immediately zeroed in on Sessions over past charges - which had derailed his nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986 - that he was basically a southern racist.
"I did not harbor the kind of animosities and race-based discrimination ideas that I was accused of," Sessions said. "I did not."
"This caricature of me in 1986 was not correct," Sessions said firmly.
In his testimony, Sessions rejected also charges from Democrats that he favored the Ku Klux Klan, worked against civil rights activists and opposed the NAACP.
"These are false charges," Sessions said.
Such assurances did not wash with black Democrats in the Congress, some of whom came over to the Senate hearing room to showcase their opposition to Sessions.
"The Attorney General is expected to uphold justice," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). "Sessions has shown himself fundamentally unfit for this role."