ACLU Comment on Reports of Closed Door Sessions Testimony

June 11, 2017 2:30 pm

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WASHINGTON — Over the weekend, the Justice Department said that Attorney General Sessions won’t be testifying at Tuesday’s hearings on the Department of Justice budget. Instead he will be testifying in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, a hearing that, according to a Justice Department official, will probably be closed to the public. Sessions is sending his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, to testify at the appropriations hearings.

Christopher Anders, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office, said:

“The ACLU is very concerned of reports claiming that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will likely be testifying in a closed hearing on Tuesday. There is absolutely no reason why the hearing room doors should be shut, cameras turned off, and all American citizens left in the dark when Sessions testifies. Democracy shouldn’t take place behind closed doors. More than 20 million people watched Comey’s testimony last week, and they should not be blocked from participating in democracy this week.

“The ACLU alerted millions of its members and activists to watch the open appropriations hearings where Sessions was scheduled to testify. Hundreds of ACLU activists are headed to Congress to see the hearings in person. Taking the long scheduled open hearings with Sessions and turning it into a single closed hearing would be a gut punch to the millions of Americans committed to an open and participatory democracy.”

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