During Senator Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearings yesterday, and indeed throughout the last month, William Smith, former Chief Counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, ably and eloquently supported Sen. Sessions' nomination for attorney general. Mr. Smith speaks from his vast personal and professional knowledge of Sen. Sessions, defending him from attacks on both his character and record:
I’m here today to express my absolute support and full confidence in Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated by President-Elect Trump, to serve as Attorney General of the United States. . . .
I did not know Senator Sessions in 1986, but I have studied his record. I have reviewed the evidence and even by the lowest standards, anyone looking at the evidence fairly could not say that he is a racist. All of the witnesses who testified against him in 1986 were discredited, with at least two of them writing the Committee to admit they had provided false testimony. In the one case that has received prominent attention, all of the defendants agreed to plead guilty to at least one count, providing a pretty clear indication that even they thought they were guilty of something. I know that he prosecuted members of the Ku Klux Klan, stood up against George Wallace in Alabama and filed lawsuits to desegregate the schools, but those are things I’ve only been able to read about and investigate over the years. The real experience is my personal experience.
Again, I have 20 years of history with Senator Sessions. What I’ve learned over that period of time is that he is an honorable man, who believes in the rule of law, pursues justice under all circumstances and loves his family and friends. I’ve learned that Senator Sessions is willing to debate anyone on the merits, but he’s not willing to attack their character. In my 10 years of working for him and writing speeches for him, he would agree to debate on the merits, but he would not pursue personal insults or character assassinations. That is what makes this process so painful to witness. From my point of view, Senator Sessions has respected his Senate colleagues, never sought revenge for the way he was mistreated; he has worked fairly with them, debated them vigorously, but never pursued a derogatory approach. I simply wish everyone would take the same approach as Senator Sessions. What I’ve learned through my 20 year history with him is that integrity, honor, and humility is more important that a political victory where personal attacks are the means to achieve that victory.
I’m here to support the nomination of Senator Sessions because everyone in this city who knows him, everyone in Alabama and around the country who knows him, might not agree with some of his policy views, but not one person can honestly look into his heart and not see the love he has for his country, the rule of law, and the Department of Justice. I support Jeff Session because he’s the exactly what we need at the Department of Justice, someone would will enforce and defend the laws of the United States regardless of whether he agrees with them personally, because that’s his job. I wholeheartedly stake my reputation on Senator Sessions. He will serve our nation well.
In addition to testifying before the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Smith has been active testifying before the public in the media. Thank you, Mr. Smith, for setting the record straight on Sen. Sessions from your actual knowledge and experience.