BOSTON (AP) — Former Democratic Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is urging U.S. senators to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions.
In 1985, Patrick was part of the legal defense team representing three black activists in a failed voting-fraud prosecution handled by Sessions, then U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama.
The three were accused of illegally tampering with absentee ballots, but were swiftly acquitted.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Patrick said that Sessions shouldn’t have brought the case.
Patrick said “to use prosecutorial discretion to attempt to criminalize voter assistance is wrong and should be disqualifying for any aspirant to the Nation’s highest law enforcement post.”
Sessions has defended the decision to bring the case, suggesting there was evidence for a conviction.