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Black Caucus Head: Speaking Last at Sessions Hearing Like ‘Being Made to Go to the Back of the Bus’

Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond criticized the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday for scheduling lawmakers’ testimony against Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions at the very end.

Speaking after Senator Cory Booker and Rep. John Lewis issued scathing testimony against Sessions’ record on civil rights, Richmond said, “First I want to address my concerns about being made to testify at the end of the witness panels.

“To have a senator, a House member, and living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus,” Richmond said.

Richmond called the move a “petty strategy” on behalf of the Senate Republicans before adding senators can “be courageous or be complicit” in their vote on Sessions’ nomination.

After the hearing, Lewis agreed with Richmond’s assertion.

“I’ve been here almost 30 years and I’ve never seen it like this,” he said. “But it’s OK, we made our statements.”

Booker, who became the first senator to testify against another senator’s confirmation, told reporters he didn’t agree and instead thanks Committee Chair Chuck Grassley.

“The sad thing is now that Sessions is going to be, should he be confirmed, be the attorney general of the United States he will work against Chuck Grassley,” Booker said.

“He will work against the reduction of mandatory minimums, he will work against fair policing in this country, he will work against supporting police officers.”

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