During the first hearing on Capitol Hill for a nominee from President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet, the Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions faced protesters at his confirmation before the hearing even officially begun. A group of protesters from Code Pink, the women-led grassroots anti-war group, have gathered outside in opposition to the confirmation of Sessions as Attorney General.
According to a tweet from Seung Jeu Kim, a Congressional reporter for Politico, a handful of the Code Pink protesters were dressed as KKK members as they yelled "Jefferson Beauregard" at him, referencing the first prominent Confederate general that Sessions shares a name with. Many of the protesters from Code Pink made it into the hearing according to a tweet from Sam Baker, a SCOTUS reporter at the National Journal, "Code Pink is in the house for Sessions' confirmation hearing, as are some folks with GREAT AMERICANS USE CANNABIS t-shirts. Fun times."
A couple of the Code Pink protesters dressed as KKK members were swiftly escorted out by police, as documented in a twitter video from Cameron Joseph, the Washington Bureau Chief at NY Daily News, he said, "That took long. First
@jeffsessions protesters (posing as KKK members) already kicked out."
Considering the fact that Sessions is scheduled for hearings on both Tuesday and Wednesday, the flux of protesters could potentially grow and gain steam. As of now, the protesters from Code Pink, as well as a handful of other protesters, have successfully managed to disrupt the beginning of Sessions' first Attorney General hearing.
Soon after the first two protesters dressed as KKK members were escorted out by police, a third protester was removed from the premise for loudly laughing when the Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby claimed that Sessions treats all Americans fairly. This particular remark from Shelby is one that many would dispute, given the fact that Sessions faced the Senate Judiciary panel in 1986 as former President Ronald Reagan's nominee for U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama, but after four days was rejected due to allegations of racism after Sessions claimed the NAACP and ACLU were "un-American."
According to Joseph, three more protesters were escorted out of the hearing for interrupting Sessions' opening statement by chanting, "No Trump. No KKK. No Fascist USA."
Still, while a few more protesters from Code Pink were escorted out, they managed to yell the dates of upcoming rallies. Both as a promise and a threat.
The gradual procession of protesters being escorted out of the hearing by Capitol Police officers has been steady, as protesters have yelled out in disagreement.
The police didn't wait long either, the first protesters were kicked out just minutes into Sessions' Attorney General hearing. It's reasonable to speculate on how the Capitol Police might address protesters during Sessions' second hearing on Wednesday, considering the steady disruptions on Tuesday.
While the protesters have managed to both provide distraction and vocal disapproval of the statements defending Sessions, it will be interesting to see how the energy of the protesters translates into support as New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker testifies against Sessions during the Tuesday hearing. Perhaps, their collective rage against Sessions will serve as a buttress for Booker during his statements. That is of course, if they aren't all escorted out.