The man chosen by President-elect Donald Trump to be the nation’s top prosecutor is playing fast and loose with disclosure requirements ahead of his confirmation hearing, a top Democrat alleged on Tuesday.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) made the claims in a letter to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), calling for a delay in next month’s confirmation hearing of Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.), to be the next US Attorney General, according to Politico.
Feinstein, who is set to be the highest ranking Democrat on the committee, asked for more time to review documents submitted by Sessions to the panel.
She noted that the 150,000 pages Sessions produced were 100 times more than what incumbent Attorney General Loretta Lynch handed over, and nearly 30 times more than what her predecessor, Eric Holder, put forth.
“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 stated.
She added that although Sessions flooded the committee with records detailing his work history, the nominee was withholding other key documents from the committee. They included documents related to his nomination to a federal judgeship in 1986 that was rejected by the Senate because of racist remarks Sessions made as a federal prosecutor.
Feinstein claimed Sessions also had not released to the committee copies of speeches he delivered on behalf of Donald Trump during the campaign.
“Given the lengthy public life that Senator Sessions has led, it is not surprising that he and his staff have had great difficulty in providing a complete submission to the committee on the accelerated timetable that has been set forth,” she said in her letter. “But that does not in any way lessen this committee’s obligation to obtain a full record and completed response to its questionnaire for a nomination to the highest law enforcement position in our government.”
Sen. Grassley accused Feinstein of trying to delay the hearing for “delay’s sake.” He said that Session’s confirmation two-day hearing will remain scheduled to begin on January 10.
Although it’s unlikely the Senate will refuse to confirm one of its own members, Sessions could still facing a bruising confirmation hearing in the judiciary committee. One member of the panel, the current ranking Democrat, has already promised as much.
In a statement released last month after Sessions was nominated, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) noted that he and the Alabama Senator have “had significant disagreements over the years, particularly on civil rights, voting rights, immigration and criminal justice issues.”
Leahy added that the “American people deserve to learn about Senator Sessions’ record at the public Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.”