Temper, temper: Everyone’s talking about Al Franken’s juvenile ‘rampage’ during Sessions hearing

Minnesota Dem. Sen. Al Franken fired off Wednesday on anyone in his line of sight during a hearing on attorney general nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur said on Twitter that the senator took shots at Sens. Sessions, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and “bogus” voter fraud.

Sen. Franken attacked Sen. Cruz over previous testimony from another hearing, according to Talking Points Memo.

Franken’s focus was a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire that Sessions, up for U.S. attorney general, filled out claiming to have had “personal” involvement in four civil rights cases.

The lawyers who handled the bulk of three of those cases have said Sessions was not involved. Franken had focused on those cases in Sessions’ confirmation hearing last month and highlighted one of the attorneys who pointed out the discrepancies, Jerry Hebert, who’d worked for decades in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division.

At that hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) argued that Franken had tried to “undermine [Sessions’] character and integrity” because Hebert had, in Cruz’s words, “testified falsely” against Sessions from 1986, when Sessions undertook a failed bid for a federal judgeship. In fact, Franken pointed out Wednesday, Herbert had corrected a simple mistake in his testimony.

 

“When describing this history, Sen. Cruz misrepresented what happened,” Franken said. “So I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight.”

Cornyn objected to Franken’s attack because Cruz was not present.

“Well, he should be here first of all, and secondly he disparaged me,” Franken said and kept on his attack.

“Mr. Chairman, I object again. The senator apparently get the message from the chairman that this is … ,” before Franken interrupted again.

“I think the senator from Texas doesn’t get the message from the chairman,” Franken said.

“Senator Cruz did the very thing that Senator Cornyn is accusing me of doing,” Franken said. “He misrepresented me, he misrepresented Mr. Hebert, he personally went after me, he personally impugned my integrity. You didn’t object then did you?!”

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Carmine Sabia

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