|84th Attorney General of the United States|
From: February 9, 2017 – November 7, 2018
|Successor||Matthew Whitaker (Acting)|
|U.S. Senator from Alabama|
From: January 7, 1997 – February 8, 2017
|Predecessor||Howell T. Heflin|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Blackshear Sessions|
Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III (born December 24, 1946) was the 84th United States Attorney General, serving under Republican President Donald Trump. Previously, he served in a variety of government positions, most notably as the junior United States Senator from Alabama from 1997 to 2017.
Sessions is a strongly conservative member of the Republican Party. As a United States senator, Sessions focused his energies on opposing illegal immigration, protecting American workers against harmful "free trade" agreements, maintaining a strong military, upholding the rule of law, limiting the role of government, and providing tax relief to stimulate economic growth and empower Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. As Attorney General, he advanced conservative law enforcement policies (see "United States Attorney General" section below).
Trump was disappointed in Sessions as his Attorney General, however, because he allowed politicized investigations and prosecutions against Trump supporters and even Trump himself. Session's recusal of himself from the witch-hunt by Robert Mueller's anti-Trump staff of attorneys caused financial and personal ruin to dozens of Trump supporters, and interfered with Trump's first two years in office. After Sessions left DOJ, he defended his recusal as Attorney General, and failed to criticize his department's continued harassment of Trump supporters. Peaceful Trump supporters remained imprisoned for many months after Trump left office in January 2021, such that even foreign leaders criticized the human rights abuses.
Early life and career
Sessions was born on December 24, 1946, in Selma, Alabama, and was raised in Hybart, Alabama. He graduated from Huntingdon College in Montgomery in 1969 and received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Alabama in 1973. In the same year, 1973, Sessions was admitted to the Alabama Bar, and he practiced law in Russellville from 1973 to 1975. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1973 to 1986 and reached the rank of Captain.
Early political career
Sessions served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama from 1975 to 1977. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated, and the U.S. Senate confirmed, him to serve as the United States Attorney for Alabama's Southern District, a position he held until 1993. In 1986, Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship by Reagan. However, the nomination was killed by Senate Democrats. Sessions was elected Alabama Attorney General in 1994 and served until 1996.
In 1996, Sessions was elected as the junior United States Senator from Alabama, defeating Democrat Roger Bedford, 52%–46% in the November general election. Sessions served in the Senate from 1997 until 2017. He served as the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was known for his role in defeating the "Gang of Eight" illegal immigrant amnesty bill in 2013, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2015. In his last election, in 2014, Sessions was unopposed in both the primary and general elections.
Support for Donald Trump
Sessions became the first sitting U.S. Senator to endorse Donald Trump for U.S. President. He strongly supported Trump due to their policy agreements. It was reported that Steve Bannon convinced Sessions to endorse Trump, and he knew he was making a big risk in doing so.
United States Attorney General
After winning the 2016 election, President Trump nominated, and the U.S. Senate subsequently confirmed, Sessions as United States Attorney General. He set out to enact the conservative policies he fought for – and was isolated because of – in the Senate. As Attorney General, Sessions enacted conservative policies and reformed the Justice Department from what it had been under Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. He stayed strong, even when President Trump himself publicly attacked him, and he had broad support among conservatives. However, Sessions refused to investigate or charge Hillary Clinton or Lois Lerner for serious allegations of misconduct.
Sessions set in motion the chain of events which led to Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel to investigate Russian collusion. By recusing himself in March 2017, the issue was ceded to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, an establishmentarian who caved immediately to pressure from the Democrats. His role in fomenting the unnecessary investigation and undermining the first year of Trump's presidency led to strong criticism from the President. Additionally, Sessions deeply disappointed conservatives with his reluctance to investigate figures such as Hillary Clinton and Lois Lerner, despite the clear reasons for investigating. As a result, some conservatives called on Sessions to quit.
For more information on Sessions's tenure at the DOJ, see:
- Donald Trump achievements: Criminal justice, law enforcement, and other DOJ matters
- Donald Trump achievements: Immigration and border security
At President Trump's request, Sessions resigned as Attorney General on November 7, 2018. Leftists, who had labeled Sessions a "racist" since 1986, organized protests in 900 cities to protest Sessions resignation. Sessions continued supporting President Trump after leaving his position.
2020 Senate election
On November 7, 2019, Sessions announced he would run again for his old Senate seat, and he continued to express conservative, pro-Trump views. He finished second place in the primary, but ultimately lost in the runoff after facing opposition from President Trump, who endorsed his opponent Tommy Tuberville, who won and went on to defeat Doug Jones in the general election.
Sessions was ranked by the National Journal as the fifth-most conservative United States Senator in their March 2007 conservative/liberal rankings. He backs conservative Republican stances on foreign affairs, taxes, and social policy. In 2006 he was a vocal critic of the John McCain-Ted Kennedy Immigration reform bill. Sessions voted against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and against the $787 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Jeff Sessions is also an opponent of the mainstream media attacks on arbitration. His arbitration bills, introduced in Congress in 2000, 2002, 2007, and 2011, would ensure due process safeguards in arbitration. This sensible, conservative approach to arbitration contrasts against the liberal Arbitration Fairness Act, which would prohibit the enforcement of predispute arbitration agreements in broad areas of commerce.
Accusations of "racism" from liberals
Liberals have accused Sessions of somehow being a "racist" throughout his career. Sessions has been criticized for reportedly calling the NAACP and ACLU "un-American" and saying the KKK was good "until they smoked marijuana". But the truth is that Jeff Sessions has fought for civil rights during his career as attorney general and later senator of Alabama. He pushed to desegregate public schools in Birmingham and prosecuted and then gave the death penalty to a KKK member who slit the throat of a black man.
"Omnibus explains why ‘Voters are in open rebellion’" (December 16, 2015). Nine-minute condensation of speech before U.S. Senate on the December 2015 2,000 page 'omnibus' year-end funding bill. Received 225,000 views on YouTube as of March 2016.
"Senator Jeff Sessions endorses Donald Trump at Madison, Alabama rally" (February 28, 2016). Five-minute speech endorsing 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Received 89,000 views on YouTube as of March 2016.
- SESSIONS, Jefferson Beauregard, III (Jeff). Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions: What to know. Fox News. July 25, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- Murch, Garrett (December 1, 2019). Garrett Murch: America Needs Jeff Sessions. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
- Stinson, Jim (July 25, 2014). Jeff Sessions makes history by being unopposed for U.S. Senate, and re-election campaign is in no hurry. AL.com. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- State of Alabama – Canvass of Results General Election, November 4, 2014. Secretary of State of Alabama. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- Gurman, Sadie (July 30, 2017). For Sessions, being attorney general is chance to make mark. Fox News. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- Ferris, Sarah (February 28, 2016). Trump gets first Senate endorsement. The Hill. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- Boyle, Matthew (July 25, 2017). Jeff Sessions: A Man Who Embodies the Movement That Elected Donald Trump President. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- Smith, Allan (July 26, 2017). Bannon convinced Jeff Sessions to endorse Trump, and Sessions worried his career in the Republican Party might end because of it. Business Insider. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Shaw, Adam (July 26, 2017). Jeff Sessions Stands Firm, Gains Broad Support as Trump Ramps Up Attacks. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
- Chakraborty, Barnini (November 3, 2017). Trump slams Sessions, DOJ for not going after Clinton, DNC. Fox News. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- Munro, Neil (September 8, 2017). Jeff Sessions’ DoJ Will Not Investigate IRS Suppression of Tea Party Groups. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 28, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- 2 GOP lawmakers want Sessions to quit, say he's lost control. Fox News (from the Associated Press). January 4, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- Starr, Penny (January 5, 2018). House Freedom Caucus Conservatives: AG Sessions Has Lost Command, Should Step Down. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- King, Steve (January 5, 2018). Rep. Steve King: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the right man, in the right place, at the right time. Washington Examiner. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- Mason, Ian (January 5, 2017). Rep. Steve King Rushes to Jeff Sessions’s Defense. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- Mason, Ian (March 2, 2018). Ann Coulter, Steve King, Kris Kobach Join Others on the Right to Defend Jeff Sessions Against Latest Attacks. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Spiering, Charlie (November 7, 2018). Jeff Sessions Resigns as Attorney General. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Pappas, Alex; Gibson, Jake (November 7, 2018). Jeff Sessions resigns as attorney general, at Trump's 'request'. Fox News. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Gurman, Sadie (November 7, 2018). Jeff Sessions Saw Job as Chance to Champion Law-and-Order Agenda. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Singman, Brooke (November 8, 2018). Outgoing AG Sessions touts DOJ achievements, in farewell message to colleagues. Fox News. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (November 8, 2018). Democrats Suffer Trump Derangement Seizure Over Sessions Departure. The New American. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Poor, Jeff (October 1, 2019). Jeff Sessions Applauds Trump on Trade, Immigration, Foreign Policy — ‘Republican Leadership Needs to Get Their Back Up’. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
- Haq, Masooma (October 2, 2019). Ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions Still Supports Trump. The Epoch Times. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
- Klar, Rebecca (October 3, 2019). Sessions says he still supports Trump despite ouster as AG. The Hill. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
- Multiple references:
- Pappas, Alex; Pfeiffer, Alex (November 7, 2019). Sessions tries to reconcile with Trump in first campaign ad: 'He has my strong support'. Fox News. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Varney, James; Boyer, Dave (November 7, 2019). 'Something to offer': Jeff Sessions looks to win Trump's support for Senate bid. The Washington Times. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Poor, Jeff (November 7, 2019). Sessions Makes 2020 Alabama U.S. Senate Run Official — Says No Senator ‘Will Be More for Advancing Trump’s Agenda’. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- Pearce, Tim (November 7, 2019). Jeff Sessions confirms bid for US Senate seat in Alabama. Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- Nguyen Ly, Mimi (November 8, 2019). Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces Run for Alabama Senate Seat. The Epoch Times. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- Spiering, Charlie (November 8, 2019). Donald Trump Says He Will Not Campaign Against Jeff Sessions: ‘I’ll See How It All Goes’. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- Madden, Nate (November 8, 2019). Jeff Sessions praises Trump in first ad for 2020 Senate bid. Conservative Review. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- Steiber, Zachary (November 14, 2019). ‘I’ll Be His Number One Supporter’: Jeff Sessions Wears ‘MAGA’ Hat in New Campaign Ad. The Epoch Times. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Drucker, David M. (November 15, 2019). 'They need to be pushed': Sessions lashes Republicans for failing Trump on immigration. Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- Boyle, Matthew (November 17, 2019). Exclusive — Jeff Sessions Explains How GOP Can Dominate for Two Generations with America First Immigration Vision. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
- Two references:
- GOP’s Tommy Tuberville defeats U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, flips Alabama seat
- Binder, John (September 5, 2017). 27 Times Jeff Sessions Fought for Americans Against DACA, Amnesty and Open Borders. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- "Sessions: Omnibus Explains Why ‘Voters Are In Open Rebellion’" (December 16, 2015). YouTube video, 9:11, posted by SenatorSessions.
- "Donald Trump Endorsed by Senator Jeff Sessions in Madison, AL (2-28-16)" (February 28, 2016). YouTube video, 5:11, posted by Right Side Broadcasting.