Following last week’s hearing on Jeff Sessions’ nomination to serve as attorney general, PFAW staff joined members and supporters on a call about the Sessions battle and what it means for other Trump nominees and the emerging resistance to Trump’s extreme agenda.
Our staff detailed Sessions’ background and exactly what it would mean to have someone with proven allegiance to the far right serve as attorney general. Research Editor Miranda Blue went through the long list of Sessions’ associations with right-wing figureheads and organizations, including Breitbart News Network, whose former leader Steve Bannon is set to serve as one of Trump’s closest advisors; David Horowitz, who has peddled claims of Black racism in America; the Center for Security Policy, which espouses anti-Muslim hate; and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which leads the anti-immigrant movement on the right. These are Sessions’ constituencies. These are the people he’ll serve as attorney general.
We discussed the conflicts of interest that have plagued Trump and many of his nominees, and how the attorney general has a role to play in pushing back. Senior Fellow Arn Pearson noted that Trump made one thing clear with this week’s so-called ethics announcement: “Instead of forming a blind trust, he’s asking the American people for blind trust that he will not talk with his children about the business.” Since his plan does nothing to address the ethics questions raised by many, and we have to rely on the Department of Justice for legal protection, it’s critically important to have an attorney general who’s willing to be a check on Trump.
The situation with Sessions and other nominees, and the Trump administration, is an uphill battle, but PFAW Executive Vice President Marge Baker urged everyone to not give up the fight: “You cannot roll over and not contest how egregious these nominees are.” Each fight helps strengthen our movement and our Hill allies for the next fight, she noted. We need to keep building strong champions and hold our opposition accountable along the way. If your senator supports Sessions, ask them, “How could you possibly vote for someone who is not on our side?”
Call your senators today (Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-
You can listen to the full telebriefing here: