On Sunday, Sen. Orrin Hatch, president pro tempore of the Senate,praised President-elect Donald Trump's designee for Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions:
Americans spoke resoundingly last month that they want our country to chart a new course. A newly-elected president’s first decisions are typically his Cabinet choices, and President-elect Trump is already charting that new course. Nominees such as Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general show that Mr. Trump is serious about getting that job done.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that the country has been on the wrong track. That certainly describes the Department of Justice. Just last year, I spoke out about how the department had been politicized, compromised, weakened, and even corrupted. Jeff Sessions is the right person to put the Justice Department back on track.
No attorney general in American history has had Mr. Sessions’ combination of hands-on experience in both criminal justice policy and its implementation. He was a front-line prosecutor for 18 years, 12 of them as United States Attorney. At his confirmation hearing in January, he will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on which he has served for 20 years. . . .
No one understands [the Department of Justice's] mission more thoroughly, or believes it more deeply, than Jeff Sessions. I am proud to support Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next attorney general of the United States. His experience, principles, and common sense are just what the Justice Department needs to chart the right course.
Last Friday, Sen. Hatch also strongly endorsed Sen. Sessions for Attorney General on the floor of the Senate (beginning on page S6970):
In closing, I want to quote from that letter by bipartisan drug policy officials. They say this about Senator Sessions:
His prudent and responsible approach is exactly what the Department of Justice needs to enforce the law, restore confidence in the United States’ justice system, and keep the American people safe. We support the nomination of Senator Sessions to be Attorney General of the United States, and we ask you to do the same.
I could not have said it better. I have known Jeff for 20 years now, every year he served here, and I knew him before then. I remember the despicable way he was treated many years ago as a nominee. I don’t want to see that repeated, and I personally will hold accountable anybody who tries to repeat it.
Jeff Sessions is a wonderful man. He is a good person. Even though any one of us here may have some disagreements from time to time with policy— we do with each other—that doesn’t denigrate and shouldn’t denigrate him as a decent, honorable man who deserves to be Attorney General of the United States. . . .
I have a strong knowledge of his background. I have a strong feeling about Jeff as a person. I believe he will be a great Attorney General, and I hope our colleagues on both sides of the aisle treat him with respect as he goes through this nomination process. If we do, we will be able to walk out of here at least with some sense of pride that we did what was right.
I think you will find, as Jeff serves— and he is going to serve—as he serves in the Justice Department, he will do a very good job, and it will be a job done for everybody in America and not just Republicans and not just for the new administration that is coming in, but for everybody. That is what I think you will find from Jeff Sessions. He is a tough guy. He has the ability to stand up. He has the ability do what is right, and he will do it. I have great confidence in Jeff.
The entire floor statement by Sen. Hatch, someone who has known Sen. Sessions both personally and professionally for many years, is well worth reading.