WASHINGTON ― None of the individuals testifying Wednesday in support of Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as the president-elect’s attorney general were willing to back up Donald Trump’s unsupported claim that “millions” of people voted illegally.
Trump, who won the Electoral College vote, seems sensitive to the fact that he lost the popular vote and that millions more Americans cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton. Back in late November, he tweeted (without any evidence) that “millions” illegally cast ballots for Clinton, which explained away her big popular vote lead.
For Trump’s unsubstantiated theory to work, around 3 million people would have had to cast ballots for Clinton, assuming that none of them voted for Trump.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who questioned Sessions about his views on voting rights when he appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, continued to press the issue on Wednesday.
“Does anybody here, does anybody on this panel have any evidence at all, any reason to believe that there were 3 million fraudulent votes cast in this election?” Franken asked.
No one on the panel spoke up. That group included former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Peter Kirsanow of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury, and former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson.
“Voting rights is a big deal. It’s a really big deal,” Franken said. “It’s important that the attorney general care about voting rights, because that’s part of his job.”
Franken on Tuesday had asked Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, whether he had spoken with Trump about the president-elect’s theory that millions of fraudulent votes were cast. Sessions, who could be charged with bringing forward those millions of voter fraud cases ― were that claim in any way attached to reality ― said he had not.
Franken said later on Wednesday that he wants an attorney general “who is going to protect people’s right to vote. And I don’t think with Sen. Sessions we are going to have that.”