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Back of the bus?': Black congressman implies GOP is racist during Sessions confirmation

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., right, talks with an unidentified woman, as Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., take a seat at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, prior to testifying at the second day of a confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP/Cliff Owen)

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) testified Wednesday against Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination to be attorney general for President-elect Donald Trump.

During his testimony, the House member made clear his disapproval with how the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled his speaking slot.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Richmond, all three of whom are opposed to Sessions' attorney general nomination, appeared before the committee late Wednesday afternoon, the second day of Cabinet-level confirmation hearings, to voice their opposition to Sessions' appointment.

Sessions has faced multiple allegations of racism, specifically related to how he handled a voter-fraud case involving black voters when he was Alabama attorney general. Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 because of the claims. The attorney general-designate confronted the charges head-on Tuesday during the first day of his confirmation hearing, calling them "undeniably false."

But Sessions' opponents, including Booker, Lewis and Richmond, disagree. In an unprecedented move Wednesday, the three black legislators joined forces against Sessions and his policies. Richmond, however, took his criticism one step further, calling out the entire GOP-led committee for when it scheduled their testimonies.

"To have a senator, a house member and a living civil rights legend [John Lewis] testify at the end of all of this, is equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus," Richmond said of the "petty strategy." The Louisiana Democrat added:

My record on equality speaks for itself, and I don't mind being last, but to have a living legend like John Lewis handled in such a fashion is beyond the pale and the message sent by this process is duly noted by me and the 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the 78 million Americans we represent and the over 17 [million] African Americans.

(H/T: Daily Caller)

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