Laura Epstein, Press Secretary, People For the American Way, [email protected], 202-467-2386
Washington, DC, December 30 – Sen. Jeff Sessions has supplemented his original December 9 Senate Judiciary Questionnaire (SJQ)—admitting that he had initially omitted hundreds of items—but there are still dramatic gaps in his record, according to a new report compiled by the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, People For the American Way, and Alliance for Justice. Fully and accurately completing the SJQ is a vital step in the process toward scheduling a Judiciary Committee hearing and vote on Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General. Despite Sen. Sessions’ submission of additional records on December 23, dozens of documents from recent years remain missing, and very scant records are provided for the first 20 years of his career in government and law enforcement.
Sen. Sessions’ inadequate work in assembling his SJQ has already prompted Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the incoming ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, to call for missing documents to be provided and for more time for the Committee to review the materials. NCAPA, PFAW and AFJ are calling for Sessions’ nomination hearing to be delayed past January 10, the currently-scheduled date, given the vast amount of relevant, missing material.
The instructions for completing the SJQ require the nominee to provide complete documentation of employment history, major cases litigated, published writings, media interviews, speeches, awards, finances, political activities and memberships. However:
- For the 20-year period in which Sen. Sessions served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama (1981-1993), Attorney General of Alabama (1995-1997), and his first term as U.S. Senator (1997-2002), he still has listed only 20 media interviews, 16 speeches outside the U.S. Senate (of which 9 are press conferences), 2 op-eds, an academic article, and a training manual.
- Even after submitting his supplement, Senator Sessions has provided only 11 clips of interviews with print publications and none prior to 2003. Instructions for completing the SJQ require the nominee to list all interviews, “the dates of these interviews and four (4) copies of the clips or transcripts of these interviews where they are available to you.”
- Sen. Sessions claims that records do not exist for the vast majority of press interviews he has given over the years. However, many are easily located online and their omission from the SJQ is inexplicable.
Numerous organizations have contributed to the research leading to today’s report as well as an earlier report on Sessions’ incomplete SJQ. The earlier release and report, dated December 14, can be found here: http://www.afj.org/press-room/press-releases/groups-call-for-sessions-hearing-delay.
The latest report, released today, can be found here: http://www.afj.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Second-Sessions-Memo.pdf