Ex-Gov. Patrick: Sessions Wrong Pick for AG

In this Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 photo, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks during an interview at his Statehouse office in Boston. As he prepares to leave office, Gov. Patrick says he is proud of many of the accomplishments of the past two terms. In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press, the governor cited strong employment gains and the foothold the state has in cutting-edge industries such as biotechnology, clean energy and advanced manufacturing. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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.

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