During Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing, I wrote. the following about his exchange with Sen. Al Franken:
Franken tried to show that Sessions [in answering a Senate questionnaire] “misrepresented” his role by listing several big civil rights cases as among the most important cases he participated in. Franken’s point was that, although Sessions signed the complaint, he hadn’t really participated.
Franken relied mainly on Gerry Hebert, lead counsel in most of these cases, who has been saying that Sessions basically had no role. Hebert has a history of dishonesty, as Christian Adams has reported.
But Sessions had an even better way of dealing with Hebert’s attack. He quoted at length from gushing testimony Hebert gave in 1986 stating that Sessions played a major role in the civil rights prosecutions that Hebert pursued. As Sessions read this testimony, Franken tried to talk over him. He failed. Using Hebert’s own words, Sessions destroyed him, and Franken, on this point.
In the end, Franken was reduced to saying that, though he is not a lawyer (we can tell), it seems to him that by saying he had “filed” a case, Sessions implied that he “led” the case. Um, no.
Last week, Franken reprised this attack in what Victoria Toensing aptly calls “a rambling diatribe” during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Again, Franken relied on the dishonest Hebert’s Washington Post op-ed.
Franken knew that the claims Hebert made in that op-ed were inconsistent with testimony Herbert gave in 1986. Sessions told him so when Franken questioned him. Yet, Franken ignored this fact.
The Minnesota man is a shameless hack.
Two questions remain. First, why did Hebert, in his Washington Post op-ed, blatantly contradict his 1986 testimony?
Toensing offers a very plausible explanation: “Perhaps his executive position with the Campaign Legal Center, funded by George Soros money, is a factor.”
Second, why would Franken rely on a discredited lawyer’s inconsistent statements? Toensing has an answer for that one too:
As Franken admitted in committee: “Senator Sessions and I have very different views about most of the issues that come before this committee…”
Such differences should be the debate, not a rationale to malign a good and decent man.
The key word here is “should.” This is the age of the “gotcha.” We understand that.
But a competent Senator can distinguish between a genuine “gotcha” and a case in which his target has got him. Al Franken is not that Senator.
JOHN adds: Franken’s rambling incoherence may explain why he is now being taken seriously as the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2020.