Jeff Sessions Fast Facts

Here's a look at the life of Jeff Sessions, US attorney general and former Republican senator of Alabama....

Posted: May. 31, 2018 5:23 PM
Updated: May. 31, 2018 5:23 PM

Here's a look at the life of Jeff Sessions, US attorney general and former Republican senator of Alabama.

Birth date: December 24, 1946

Birth place: Selma, Alabama

Birth name: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Father: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Jr., business owner

Mother: Abbie (Powe) Sessions

Marriage: Mary Blackshear Sessions (1969-present)

Children: Mary Abigail, Ruth and Samuel

Education: Huntingdon College, B.A., 1969; University of Alabama, J.D., 1973

Military service: US Army Reserve, 1973-1986, Captain

Religion: Methodist

Other Facts:
Is an Eagle Scout.

Served on the Senate Budget, Judiciary, Armed Services, and Environment and Public Works Committees.

Voted against both of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Supported building fencing along the US border, saying in 2006 that "good fences make good neighbors."

Was opponent of the 2013 "Gang of Eight" immigration reform bill.

1973-1975 - Practices law in Alabama.

1975-1977 - Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

1981-1993 - US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.

1986 - President Ronald Reagan nominates Sessions to become a federal judge. The Senate Judiciary Committee opposes the nomination following testimony that Sessions made racist remarks and called the NAACP and ACLU "un-American."

1995-1997- Alabama Attorney General. During this time, an Alabama judge accuses Sessions of prosecutorial misconduct related to the handling of evidence in a case but ultimately, Sessions is not disciplined for ethics violations.

1996 - Elected to the US Senate. Re-elected in 2002, 2008 and 2014.

1997-February 2017 - Republican senator representing Alabama.

February 2, 2009 - Votes in favor of the confirmation of Eric Holder as attorney general.

April 23, 2015 - Votes against the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general.

February 28, 2016 - Becomes the first sitting US senator to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid.

November 18, 2016 - President-elect Donald Trump announces he intends to nominate Sessions to be the next attorney general.

January 3, 2017 - An NAACP sit-in to protest the nomination of Sessions as US attorney general ends when six people are arrested at Sessions' Mobile, Alabama, office.

February 8, 2017 - After 30 hours of debate, the US Senate confirms Sessions as attorney general by a 52-47 vote.

March 1, 2017 - The Washington Post reports that Sessions failed to disclose pre-election meetings with the top Russian diplomat in Washington. Sessions did not mention either meeting during his confirmation hearings when he said he knew of no contacts between Trump surrogates and Russians.

March 2, 2017 - Sessions recuses himself from any involvement in a Justice Department probe into links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

March 10, 2017 - The DOJ abruptly announces the firing of 46 US attorneys, including Preet Bharara of New York. Bharara said that during the transition, Trump asked him to stay on during a meeting at Trump Tower.

April 3, 2017 - The Department of Justice releases a memorandum ordering a review of consent decrees and other police reforms overseen by the federal government in response to complaints of civil rights abuses and public safety issues. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of Justice Department interventions in local police matters.

July 21, 2017 - The Washington Post reports that Sessions discussed policy-related matters with Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak before the 2016 election, according to intelligence intercepts. Sessions had previously claimed that he did not talk about the campaign or relations with Russia during his meetings with Kislyak.

October 4, 2017 - In a memo to all federal prosecutors, Sessions says that a 1964 federal civil rights law does not protect transgender workers from employment discrimination and the department will take this new position in all "pending and future matters."

November 14, 2017 - During a House judiciary committee hearing, Sessions says he did not lie under oath in earlier hearings regarding communications with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign, and denies participating in any collusion with Russia. Sessions also says the DOJ will consider investigations into Hillary Clinton and alleged ties between the Clinton Foundation and the sale of Uranium One.

January 4, 2018 - Sessions announces that the DOJ is rescinding an Obama-era policy of non-interference with states that have legalized recreational marijuana. The reversal frees up federal prosecutors to pursue cases in states where recreational marijuana is legal.

March 21, 2018 - Sessions issues a statement encouraging federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for certain drug-related crimes, as mandated by law. Seeking capital punishment in drug cases is part of the Trump administration's efforts to combat opioid abuse.

May 7, 2018 - Sessions announces a "zero tolerance" policy for illegal border crossings, warning that parents could be separated from children if they try to cross to the US from Mexico. "If you cross the border unlawfully, even a first offense, we're going to prosecute you. If you're smuggling a child, we're going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don't want your child to be separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally."

May 30, 2018 - Trump again expresses regret for choosing Sessions to lead the Justice Department. In a tweet, he quotes a remark from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who said that the president could have picked someone else as attorney general. "I wish I did!," Trump tweeted. He had first said that he was rethinking his choice of Sessions as attorney general during a July 2017 interview with the New York Times.

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