Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) pointed to an alarming trend in President-elect Trump’s staff picks. Booker said that Trump is staff his administration with people who degrade and demean Americans, promote dangerous fringe ideologies, and threaten Americans’ rights.
In a statement about Trump selection of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general nominee, Sen. Booker said:
There is a growing and alarming trend among the individuals President-elect Trump is naming to key positions in his administration. Some have degraded and demeaned Americans. Others actively promote dangerous fringe ideologies. Still more have threatened Americans’ rights, and attacked the privileges of citizenship.
As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, the Attorney General of the United States must be independent of politics and respect the dignity of all Americans. The Attorney General has a duty to enforce the rule of law fairly and pursue equal justice under the law. One of the core functions of the Department of Justice is to protect Americans’ civil rights, and to defend those who have been denied them. Another key function of the Department of Justice is to protect our security, but never sacrifice our civil liberties.
Like any cabinet-level nominee, Senator Sessions deserves a fair hearing before the Senate and I look forward to fully reviewing his nomination before casting my vote. But based on my experience over three years of working with him, I am concerned that he possesses ideologies that are in conflict with basic tenants of the Justice Department’s mission.
Not only has Senator Sessions been a staunch opponent of reforming the tragic shortcomings in our criminal justice system, he holds a number of views that are inconsistent with how most Americans believe justice should be applied under our Constitution.
Sen. Booker was correct. There is a clear trend in President-elect Trump’s initial staff choices. All five have been white men, and three of them have beliefs that are in line with white supremacists. Allowing Trump’s nominees a hearing could be viewed as beneficial to Democrats as they are going to have the opportunity to grill Sen. Sessions on his racial views.
Republicans didn’t give Obama’s nominees a hearing because they knew that there was a significant chance that a public hearing might make the nominee more popular and undermine their obstruction of the president.
For Democrats, the opposite is true. They should want all of the extremists that Trump is planning on installing in his administration to stand up in front of the appropriate Senate committee and the nation at large to defend their views.
The individuals that Trump is nominating and appointing hold some dangerous beliefs, but the American people might not believe it until they see it with their own eyes, which is why Democrats are saying with a united voice bring on the hearings.