The Senate confirmation hearing for President-Elect Trump’s Attorney General nominee got underway Tuesday.
Sen. Susan Collins introduced Senator Jeff Sessions at Tuesday’s hearing.
Collins praised her longtime colleague from Alabama, saying the two are good friends.
She cited examples of Sessions working across the aisle to get key bills passed.
Collins refuted claims of racial prejudice against Sessions, allegations that derailed Sessions’ nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986.
Collins said Sessions’ actions throughout his career show he is an advocate for racial justice, “My friends, these are not the actions of an individual who is motivated by racial animus. I have never witnessed anything to suggest that Senator Sessions is anyone other than a dedicated public servant and a decent man. I have every confidence that Jeff Sessions will execute the office of Attorney General honestly, faithfully and fully.”
Some folks in Bangor today were not so convinced.
A group of about 20 people marched down Harlow St. to Collins’s office at the Federal Building to deliver a letter disapproving of her support for Sessions.
They pointed to alleged racial comments by Sessions, such as calling a black attorney “boy” and derogatory references to the NACP and ACLU.
They say they’re also concerned by his record on women’s and gay rights, and his reaction to Trump’s comments about groping women.
Donna Gilbert from Winterport said, “My biggest concern is about voter disenfranchisement and where he has denied that that is going on. I’m also really offended that he does not think that grabbing somebody’s personal part is sexual harassment, that is really huge. That’s shocking.”
Karen Marysdaughter of the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine expressed her concerns, “We’re very concerned about his record on civil rights. We’re very concerned about his record on women’s rights. She needs to put her money where her mouth is and say yes, we need to take our time and thoroughly vet these candidates and frankly with Jeff Sessions I think if he’s thoroughly vetted he will be found to be completely inappropriate.”
Today’s march in Bangor was one of several anti-Sessions demonstrations across the state.