I’m going to say up front that this story is based on “exclusive” yet unnamed sources. If it is false, Senator Grassley needs to speak up. If it is true, it is one of the most shameful acts in the modern history of the US Senate, and that is a damned high bar to cross after watching Bob Corker in action on Iran.

Via Conservative Review:

Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation is shaping up to be a political circus act as sources indicate Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley R-Iowa, (D, 66%) is expected to announce a special panel “to examine Sen. Sessions’ history on civil rights.” But in reality, the panel will only serve as a platform for smears, rumor, and spin.

A special panel would go directly against the Iowa Republican’s previously expressed goal of avoiding the disaster confirmation hearings for President George W. Bush’s Attorney General John Ashcroft. In a statement in November, Grassley referred to Ashcroft’s confirmation hearings as a “reckless campaign that snowballed into an avalanche of innuendo, rumor and spin” and added Sessions’ confirmation hearings would not be a repeat.

Sources working with the Trump transition team and in the Senate, with direct knowledge of the situation, spoke with Conservative Review under the condition of anonymity and said that Chairman Grassley conceded to Senate Judiciary Democrat demands to allow a special panel on civil rights to cross-examine Sessions.

The announcement of the special panel could come as soon as Monday.

What fresh hell is this?

As Erick Erickson has pointed out, Jeff Sessions’ history while he was a US Attorney in Alabama showed him to be an pro-active defender of Civil Rights. His record in the Senate has been exemplary.

Jeff Sessions is going to be the next Attorney General of the United States. The Senate Democrats, having scrapped the filibuster on nominations, have no way to stop him. Will these pictures stop him?

They show Jeff Sessions marching in the streets with… wait for it … no seriously, wait for it… civil rights icon John Lewis. Whaaaaa???

That’s right. The media wants you to think Jeff Sessions is some sort of Alabamian unrepentant racist, but in fact Jeff Sessions has a long history of fighting segregation in Alabama, seeking the death penalty for KKK members, and marching with civil rights leaders to commemorate and honor the 50th anniversary of the march at Selma.

Senator Sessions would have won re-election handily in Alabama had he refused. But he went. He supported it. At the time he noted the injustice that had been done.

Senator Sessions also voted for the extension of the Civil Rights Act.

He voted to confirm Eric Holder as the first black Attorney General.

Senator Sessions and Senator Dick Durbin cosponsored legislation to bring penalties for crack possession, which many African-Americans felt unfairly targeted them, more in line with the penalties for powder cocaine.

Senator Sessions spearheaded the effort to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Rosa Parks, an Alabama native and Civil Rights icon.

The only reason for this panel is to paint an honorable man as a racist and a bigot. The purpose of that, just like the purpose of this ridiculous story of the Russians actually having an effect on our election, is to box Sessions in when he gets to Justice. He won’t be able to scrap the collaboration with the #BLM thugs. He won’t be able to stop the bullying of police departments. He won’t be able to push more active immigration enforcement. He won’t be able to stop Justice from improperly meddling in state redistricting decisions and voting legislation. The Democrats are afraid of him and want him discredited from day one. It looks like his good friend, Charles Grassley, is going to oblige.