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Jeff Sessions Took Down the Klan Once. He’s Ready to Do It Again

Following a white supremacist domestic terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, the attorney general seems poised to go back after his old foes.

Sessions Attorney General Hearing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, following a weekend of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, appeared on morning talk shows Monday to convey the Justice Department’s unequivocal condemnation of the attacks.

Sessions even said that President Trump “absolutely” needed to specifically condemn white supremacists and neo-nazi groups on CBS:

It appears that the attorney general is prepared to go after the white supremacists that were responsible for Saturday’s deadly attack. It wouldn’t be the first time he has taken on hate groups.

During his role as a U.S. Attorney in Alabama in the 1980s, Sessions helped the Southern Poverty Law Center “bankrupt” the Alabama Ku Klux Klan:

For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center, while expressing opposition to his confirmation, acknowledged that he was helpful in the Center’s successful effort to sue and bankrupt the Ku Klux Klan following its role in the 1981 lynching death of Michael Donald.

Sessions actually won the first-ever death penalty conviction of a Klan member for a 1981 lynching as well. Henry Francis Hays, one of the Klansmen convicted of the lynching, was the first “white sentenced to die for murdering a black” in Alabama since 1913, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Then, when he served as Alabama’s state attorney general, Sessions zeroed in on attacks on predominantly black churches, hiring former federal investigators and meeting with President Bill Clinton on the subject. After Sessions’ meeting with the president, Clinton promised to “intensify efforts to prevent burning of predominantly black churches.”

Though some felt heartened by the president’s remarks on Saturday, the neo-nazis and white supremacists responsible for the violence in Charlottesville may find their greatest foe in Attorney General Jeff Sessions.