Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, who once said he thought the KKK, “was OK until I found out they smoked pot,” is back at his same old racist shenanigans, according to Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The watchdog group exhorted the Senate Judiciary Committee to press Sessions in an oversight hearing on his collusion with the Voter Fraud Commission, which Trump set up with the express purpose of suppressing the minority vote.
The Department of Justice exists in part to enforce civil rights, but the man Trump appointed to run it is the very same of whom Coretta Scott King once said:
Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts . . . Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.
According to Ms. Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
The work of the Civil Rights Division is uniquely important, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions must be held accountable for the dramatic changes that have taken place on his watch, which have brought federal civil rights enforcement to a virtual grinding halt.
Once again, Sessions is fanning its flames of voter suppression, going so far as to give an audience to those lobbying for no Democrats to be allowed on the commission. It should be noted that there are now Democrats on the commission and even they criticize it.
The only reason the commission exists is to prop up Trump’s verifiable lie that 3 to 5 million “illegals” voted in California for his opponent Hillary Clinton — a pathetic rationale for why he lost the popular vote.
Not only is his claim untrue, there are almost no cases of voter fraud in American elections at all. The four instances of voter fraud in the 2016 election were committed by Republicans.
“Voter fraud” is a dog whistle for voter suppression. It’s a way of saying that minority votes should not count as much as white votes.
There is no other explanation for why Trump has set up the Voter Fraud Commission, led by “the king of voter suppression, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and supported by Jeff Sessions, rather than leading an investigation into the real threat to our electoral process, Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, for which there is a mountain of evidence.
The Republican-led Senate must act on behalf of civil rights and our democratic process when they question Sessions at the Department of Justice’s annual briefing on October 18, or be left with him on the ash heap of history.
Lucia Brawley is a Harvard- and Yale-educated writer, producer, actor, and political organizer. She runs the progressive political Facebook group Consenting to Lead. To learn more, please go to luciabrawley.com.