- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Senate Judiciary Committee vote on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General is expected to proceed Tuesday, according to a Senate staffer, despite requests by a civil liberties group to delay it in order to question the senator about executive actions signed by President Trump this week.

The American Civil Liberties Union wrote to Sen. Charles Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, respectively the chairman and ranking member of the judiciary committee, asking them to cancel Tuesday’s pending committee vote on Mr. Sessions nomination and to instead hold another round of questioning.

Citing a Washington Post report, the ACLU questions “the reported involvement” of Mr. Sessions in the development of Mr. Trump’s executive orders, in which he ordered the construction of a border wall and took steps to increase deportations of illegal immigrants.

“The Senate should vigorously question the role of Senator Sessions in developing these new orders and proposals and his plans to implement and execute them,” the ACLU wrote.

While one version of the Washington Post report cited anonymous sources saying Mr. Sessions was “deeply involved in the extended debate over the orders,” another later version made no mention of any involvement.

Sara Isgur Flores, a spokeswoman for Mr. Sessions, said Thursday that he had “zero involvement” in helping Mr. Trump draft the executive orders.
Meanwhile Beth Levine, a spokeswoman for Mr. Grassley, said members of the judiciary committee already “have plenty of information to make a decision,” on Mr. Sessions’ confirmation.

“Nobody should be surprised that an activist group that testified against the nominee, and has a history of stalling tactics against Republican Attorney General nominees, is throwing spaghetti on the wall to see if it will stick,” she said.

A vote on Mr. Sessions’ confirmation was already delayed once at the request of Ms. Feinstein. She asked on Tuesday that the vote be delayed a week after the committee received 188 pages of responses over the weekend to questions raised during the initial hearing on Mr. Sessions’ nomination.

Ms. Levine said the vote remains scheduled for Tuesday.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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