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As attorney general, Sessions would be responsible for giving unbiased legal advice to the president and executive agencies.

"You know who I am, you know what I believe in, you know that I'm a man of my word", Sessions said.

Now that's a senator standing up for what he believes even as some question whether it will hamper his reelection prospects.

Very little mystery surrounds Cabinet picks by incoming presidents as they face confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

The Alabama senator said he would do so because of the positions he staked out while campaigning for Trump.

Civil rights leader, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., will also testify against the Republican.

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.

Sarah Isgur Flores is a spokeswoman for Sessions' confirmation.

"I deeply understand the history of civil rights and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters, " Sessions told the committee.

Sessions opposed that effort; criticized the Voting Rights Act; was against efforts to provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants now in the USA; and failed to defend the civil rights of women, minorities and gays, Booker said.

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Grassley asked Sessions to confirm whether he meant both the server investigation and the investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

"Senator Sessions' decades-long record is concerning in a number of ways", Booker said.

But this time Sessions won't be asking the tough questions; the 70-year-old Republican will be in the hot seat as President-elect Donald Trump's choice to be the nation's top law enforcement official.

Shorltly before the hearing began, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced she supported him as well.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony during hearings in 1986 when Sessions made racist remarks and called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "Un-American".

He repeatedly denied that he had made the statements.

Mr Sessions was also accused of calling a black assistant USA attorney "boy" and telling him to be careful about how he spoke to "white folks". "It wasn't accurate then".

On another counterterrorism issue, Mr Sessions said he would not support banning anyone from the United States on the basis of religion, and said Trump's intentions were to block people coming from countries harbouring terrorists, not all Muslims. He also said he opposed a registry of Muslims.

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Pressed on what will happen to the 800,000 dreamers, Sessions said, "An attorney general's role is to enforce the law".


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