Cory Booker, testifying against Jeff Sessions' cabinet nom: "His record indicates we cannot count on him." https://t.co/G2YhRtJkA5— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 11, 2017
Senator Cory Booker gave historic testimony against Jeff Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General, The Hill reports.
Booker addressed his unprecedented testimony:
“I know that some of my colleagues are unhappy that I’m breaking with Senate tradition to testify against the nomination of one of my colleagues,” Booker said. “But I believe, like perhaps all of my colleagues, that in the choice between standing with Senate norms or standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country, I will always choose conscience and country.”
“Sen. Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights and justice for all of our citizens,” Booker said.
Booker questioned Sessions’ commitment to pursue justice for all.
“If confirmed, Sen. Sessions will be required to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won’t,” Booker said. “He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian Americans, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity, but his record indicates he won’t.”
Booker didn’t take questions after his testimony. He became the first sitting senator to testify against another appointed to a Cabinet position. How that’s never happened, and why it bears significance speaks to the obsession with “normalcy” and “precedent” that Trump exploited to take the White House.
Unlike Booker, Trump didn’t break with tradition in order to in effect say, “shame on you, sir!”
“I’m very disappointed that Senator Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Senator Sessions,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote on Facebook. Cotton might also be a 2020 presidential candidate if Trump runs into serious trouble during his administration.
“This disgraceful breach of custom is especially surprising since Senator Booker just last year said he was ‘honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions’ on a resolution honoring civil-rights marchers.”
Booker did little to assuage fears that this was the unofficial beginning of his presidential ambitions:
“I don’t care about pressure, I don’t care about criticism,” he said. “When it comes to matters of conscience and country, I will always stand up and I encourage other Americans, during this time in particular, to not be silent on matters of principles, on matters of protecting our Constitution, the values of our nation like equal protection under the law.”
(image via Fox News screengrab)