Senator Jeff Sessions, 70, has been confirmed as the attorney general! The vote was close but Sessions was confirmed with 52 votes in favor, and 47 against.
His battle for this position has been long and bitter.
The fight over Sessions nomination spurred some of the most jarring, and at times personal attacks, rooted in allegations that Sessions was a racist — claims the Alabama senator and his supporters have fiercely denied. Even early in the nomination process, one of Sessions’ colleagues, Cory Booker, became the first sitting senator to testify against another sitting senator during his confirmation hearing.
It was also during debate over his appointment that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was silenced for what she had to say about Sessions.
Democrats spent the hours before the vote on Wednesday seething over the treatment of Ms. Warren, who had been barred from speaking on the floor the previous night. Late Tuesday, Republicans voted to formally silence Ms. Warren after the senator read from a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King that criticized Mr. Sessions for using “the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens” while serving as a United States attorney in Alabama
Since Mr. Trump announced his choice for attorney general, Mr. Sessions’s history with issues of race had assumed center stage. A committee hearing on his nomination included searing indictments from black Democratic lawmakers like Representative John Lewis of Georgia, the civil rights icon, and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who broke with Senate tradition to testify against a peer.
Sessions, has been serving in the Senate since 1997. He was among the first members of congress to advocate Donald Trump, and previously worked as Alabama attorney general.
Breaking News: @SenatorSessions appears to have votes to be confirmed as Attorney General. pic.twitter.com/wyBp1CFCtP
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 9, 2017
Senator Sessions addressed the Senate after his confirmation as Attorney General: