Dems Read King Letter On Senate Floor After GOP Silences Warren

Democratic senators on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning read from a letter harshly critical of attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), written by Coretta Scott King in 1986, after Senate Republicans voted to stop Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) from reading the same letter.

The Senate on Tuesday night voted along party lines to prevent Warren from reading the letter, and to silence her during all future discussion of Sessions, Warren told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

At least four senators, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), later read from the letter themselves on the Senate floor.

“I wanted to take a few moments and share some of the letter that was discussed earlier and share it in a fashion appropriate under our rules,” Merkley said late Tuesday night, before reading excerpts of King’s letter while mostly avoiding mentioning Sessions by name.

He later paraphrased a section of the letter that described Sessions’ 1984 voter fraud prosecution, which King described in her letter as “one more technique used to intimidate black voters and thus deny them this most precious franchise.”

On Wednesday morning, Udall and Brown continued the effort. Sanders followed suit.