— Cameron Joseph (@cam_joseph) January 10, 2017
On Tuesday, Senator Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing for Attorney General got off to a rousing start as two protesters, who were dressed up in KKK-like costumes, were escorted out of the room. Members of the grassroots organization Code Pink were also on hand to protest.
Session’s nomination has come with controversy, as some have questioned his willingness to fight for civil rights. The Alabama senator has been critical of the NAACP and even cracked a joked about the KKK when he was up for a federal judge position in 1986. Some defenders of Sessions have pinpointed a 1981 case where he helped to convict KKK members for lynching 19-year-old Michael Donald, but The Atlantic points out how Sessions and some of his allies may have overstated his role in the case.
Protests have already begun regarding his nomination, as members of the NAACP launched a sit-in protest earlier this month, and now, more members are present for his confirmation hearing. The protesters on Tuesday, who have yet to be identified, dressed as members of the KKK touting their “support” for Sessions, with DIY foam fingers to “cheer” him on. One man shouted, “You can’t arrest me, I’m white! White people don’t get arrested!”
Sessions himself has sat in on five nomination hearings as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but this is his first time being grilled. Trump has not directly commented on accusations against Sessions, but only said in a statement he is “unbelievably impressed” with his career as Alabama Attorney General.
Here’s another angle of the protesters being escorted away.