The former chief council for the Senate Judiciary Committee, William Smith, discounted a number of Democratic attacks against Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) during the Alabama lawmaker’s confirmation hearing for attorney general on Wednesday.
Throughout his testimony, Smith vehemently disagreed with attacks on Sessions’ character.
“We have seen people who have never met Sen. Sessions claim to know him and know his heart. We have seen members of this body and members of the House of Representatives just now, who have worked with Sen. Sessions and praised him for his work, and now turn to attack him,” Smith said in a clear nod to Sen. Cory Booker, who testified minutes earlier before the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Sessions’ nomination.
“This should not be. The reason we did not see a lot of this yesterday during the hearing is because the members of this committee know Sen. Sessions,” Smith continued.
Smith then described how Sessions has defended minority communities during his legal career.
“He fought for sentencing reform, and not only did he fight for it; he accomplished it,” Smith said. “He fought for civil rights. He prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan, and most importantly, he has fought for the liberty of all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin or their personal beliefs.”
While concluding his testimony, Smith went as far as to say that Sessions’ opponents have no proof of him being racist because such proof “does not exist.”
“After twenty years of knowing Sen. Sessions, I have not seen the slightest evidence of racism because it does not exist. I know a racist when I see one, and I’ve seen more than one, but Jeff Sessions is not one,” Smith said.