Washington, DC, January 10, 2017 – According to a report by The Washington Post, Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions has failed to disclose to the Office of Government Ethics his ownership of mineral rights on over 600 acres in Choctaw County, Alabama. The failure to disclose this ownership effectively undermines two very important elements of Sen. Sessions’ ethics clearance process: the first is an Ethics Agreement filed with the Justice Department, outlining Sen. Sessions’ plan to divest himself of assets or take action to mitigate circumstances that may create conflicts of interest if he is confirmed as Attorney General. The second is the Office of Government Ethics’ certification of Sen. Sessions’ disclosure of his assets.
Alliance for Justice has submitted a letter to the heads of these two agencies, asking that they revoke their respective approvals of Sen. Sessions that both were granted based on incomplete disclosures.
“This latest failure by Sen. Sessions to disclose important information tied to his nomination for Attorney General is very serious, and ethics officials must have an opportunity to correct the record,” said Nan Aron, President of Alliance for Justice. “It’s also one more reason why his nomination should not be rammed through the Senate as is happening now. Why is he concealing so much information? His conduct since his nomination has done nothing but chip away at public confidence.”
Alliance for Justice is also calling on the Justice Department and Office of Government Ethics to demand that Sen. Sessions fully disclose his assets. According to the Post’s report, he is deriving income from the holdings in the form of rent or royalties. There is an additional concern that the mineral deposits lie underneath the Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge.