Senators squabble over Jeff Sessions record before AG confirmation hearing


Top senators are demanding more time to go over Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ record ahead of his confirmation hearings, which are set for Jan. 10 and Jan. 11 next year.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is set to be the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee next year, said Tuesday that there is not enough time to go over the 150,000 pages of material Sessions sent to the committee.

“This is more than 100 times what Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch produced (1,500 pages) and more than 29 times what [former] Attorney General [Eric] Holder produced (5,100 pages),” the senator said in a letter to Committee Chair Chuck Grassley.

“I am sure you would agree that staff must have sufficient time to do the due diligence on any nominee for this vital position—and this due diligence will likely take longer than the review for recent, prior nominees who had less materials to analyze.”

Feinstein also criticized the documents provided for not including some of unsavory parts of Sessions’ career, such as his failed 1986 bid for a federal judgeship and copies of speeches given in support of President-elect Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

Grassley pointed out that many of the documents given to the committee have been publically available for years, and noted that Holder was allowed to add documents ahead of his confirmation without delaying his hearings.

“Any suggestion that a nominee’s good faith efforts to locate and produce responsive material is cause for delay begins to look like a call for delay for delay’s sake, rather than a thorough review of a colleague’s character and qualifications,” Grassley said.

Grassley also rebuffed Feinstein’s complain that Sessions didn’t include a list of political candidates and campaigns he has supported.

“There can be no surprise that a sitting U.S. Senator is politically active,” he said.