Jeff Sessions (2017-2018)
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was born on December 24, 1946, in Selma, Alabama. He was raised in the small community of Hybart, Alabama, where his father ran a general store. Sessions was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, becoming an Eagle Scout in 1964. He went to Huntingdon College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969. In 1973, he graduated from law school at the University of Alabama.
Session practiced law until he was appointed an assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama in 1975. He was also in the US Army reserves from 1973 to 1986. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed Session the US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, and he served in that position until 1993 when Bill Clinton became president. From 1995 to 1997, Sessions was the Attorney General of Alabama. He was then elected to the US Senate from Alabama and held that office from 1997 until 2017.
When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, Sessions was the first US senator to endorse him and an advisor to his campaign. After Trump won the election, he appointed Sessions the 84th Attorney General to run the Department of Justice. Session’s confirmation hearings were contentious with many Democrats opposing his appointment. The Senate voted 52 to 47 to confirm him.
As Attorney General, Sessions supported and worked to enact many of President Trump’s campaign promises. He supported reinstating mandatory sentencing guidelines that had been rolled back during the Obama administration. He also championed the administration’s stance on restricting immigration to the United States.
Despite supporting many parts of the president’s agenda, the relationship between Trump and Sessions was fraught. Shortly after taking office, Sessions recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials because of his involvement in the campaign. After Session’s recusal, his Deputy Attorney General appointed former FBI director, Robert Mueller, to oversee the investigation. President Trump blamed Sessions for the special counsel because the president did not want Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation. During Session’s tenure, President Trump disparaged him in public statements and tweets. The day after the 2016 midterm elections, Sessions submitted his letter of resignation at President Trump’s request.