Sen. Sessions’ credentials are impeccable.
Assistant United States Attorney. United States Attorney. Alabama Attorney General. United States Senator. A combined 35 years of public service and a lifelong commitment to the rule of law.
And yet if you read the New York Times and Washington Post, or watch MSNBC and CNN, you would think President-elect Trump brought segregation-era George Wallace back from the dead and appointed him to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. (In reality, Sessions campaigned against Wallace as a college Republican, but that’s a story for another time.)
The media constantly point back to Sen. Sessions’ failed confirmation after then-President Ronald Reagan nominated him to a federal judgeship as evidence that he is, as CNN puts it, “dogged by allegations of racism.” During Senate confirmation hearings in 1986, Sessions was accused of making racially insensitive comments.
When a former Justice Department colleague came forward with the accusation, Sessions did the unthinkable in Washington: he told the truth. He conceded that he had made a joke that was being taken out of context.
And his actions clearly backed that up, because at the moment Sessions made the unfortunate joke, he was tenaciously leading a fight to deliver justice for the family of an African American man who had been viciously murdered by the KKK.
And this is the part of the story the media never tell.
Michael Donald, a 19-year-old African-American man, was walking home when he was kidnapped by two Klan members, who drove him to a secluded area, nearly beat him to death with a tree limb, tied a noose around his neck, strangle him, then slit his throat and hung him from a tree.
KKK member Henry Francis Hays was responsible for the vicious murder, and did so at the order of his father, Klan leader Bennie Hays, who ordered the killing “to show Klan strength in Alabama.”
Sessions was so disgusted by what had happened that he allowed the State of Alabama to try the case, rather than making it a federal case, because Alabama had the death penalty.