WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for US attorney general, will no longer serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee — an announcement that comes a week before Sessions' confirmation hearing before the committee is set to take place.
A former federal and state prosecutor in Alabama, Sessions has been on the Judiciary Committee since 1997, when he was elected to the Senate. He served as the top Republican on the committee during President Obama's first two years in office.
According to Republican committee assignments announced on Tuesday, Sessions will serve on the Agriculture, Armed Services, Budget, Energy and Natural Resources, and Environment and Public Works committees.
Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Judiciary Committee on Jan. 10 and 11 for confirmation hearings on his nomination to lead the US Department of Justice. He's expected to clear the committee, although opponents have criticized his record on civil rights and accused him of submitting incomplete written materials in anticipation of the hearing.
Democrats had called on Sessions to recuse from voting on his confirmation, citing the criticism about his questionnaire.
A spokesman for Sessions was not immediately reached for comment.
Joining the Judiciary Committee on the Republican side are Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mike Crapo of Idaho, and John Kennedy of Louisiana. Sen. David Perdue is not returning to the committee.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa will continue to serve as the committee's chairman. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California will take over from Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy as the ranking Democrat. Sen. Mazie Hirono previously was announced as joining the committee on the Democratic side.