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GOP sets January confirmation hearing for Sessions

Sen. Jeff Sessions, right, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, will get a two-day confirmation hearing the second week in January, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley announced late Friday. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

December 09, 2016

Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, will get a two-day confirmation hearing the second week in January, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley announced late Friday.

Grassley, R-Iowa, said Sessions, R-Ala., will appear before the panel Jan. 10 and 11, a date and length of time “consistent with historical practice,” and greenlighted by the top panel Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Two GOP sources said the goal is to have the Senate confirm Sessions on Feb. 3.

Democrats have threatened a lengthy confirmation fight over Sessions, whom the Senate rejected 30 years ago when he was nominated for the federal bench.

Grassley appeared prepared to combat those Democrat plans. He listed timelines for confirming past attorneys general, including Eric Holder, whom the Senate confirmed one week before President Obama’s inauguration.

Grassley said Sessions has turned in a committee questionnaire. He is well-liked by his GOP colleagues, who can confirm him without Democrats because they are in the majority and only 51 votes are needed.

“We will begin reviewing his questionnaire and going through the documents so we’re ready to hold a fair and thorough hearing on Jan. 10,” Grassley said. “We all know Senator Sessions to be an honorable man who has held public office for more than 20 years.”