Corey Booker Testifies Against Jeff Sessions at Confirmation Hearing 1/11/17. Senator Cory Booker today got a lot of attention for testifying against Senate colleague and Trump AG nominee Jeff Sessions in what he called a matter of conscience but what more cynical observers felt was his kickoff to a 2020 presidential run. Booker acknowledged at the outset today just how extraordinary his testimony is (more on that here), but said, “In the choice between standing with Senate norms or standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country, I will always choose conscience and country.” Leading up to his testimony today, there were reports highlighting Booker’s praise of Sessions last year when the two senators came together to award the congressional gold medal to Selma marchers. He said at the time he felt “blessed and honored” working with Sessions on it. Booker acknowledged this in his remarks today, but he maintained that he believes his colleague has shown “hostility” towards certain aspects of criminal justice that he believes are important for the U.S. attorney general to hold.
He said Sessions would not be a leader in tackling racial bias in police departments across the country at a time when America needs more “hope and healing.”
One of the biggest reactions to Booker’s speech circulating on Twitter was that he was using it to raise his national profile for a presidential run: