Desiree Fairooz, the Code Pink protester who was arrested for laughing during Jeff Sessions’ January confirmation hearings, has been found guilty.
Fairooz’s conviction came at the end of a two-day trial in which the prosecution argued that her laughter during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ initial committee hearings prior to the former Alabama senator’s confirmation to become the nation’s top lawyer was done to “impede, disrupt, and disturb orderly conduct.” Fairooz may face up to a year in jail for the minor outburst.
During the hearing itself, Fairooz, 61, argued that her laughter was sudden and instinctual when Sessions’ senate colleague, Richard Shelby, praised Sessions for treating everyone equally under the law during his time as a federal prosecutor. This prompted Fairooz to laugh audibly in the back of the room, where she had been sitting silently. After capitol police heard her laughing, they proceeded to carry her out by force, upon which Fairooz started shouting at senators to deny Sessions’ confirmation, calling him “evil.” HuffPost’s Ryan Reilly captured video of her arrest:
Another protester escorted out of Sessions hearing. Her original offense appeared to be simply laughing. pic.twitter.com/p6lWzBVFRW
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 10, 2017
Sessions has been the subject of controversy for past remarks in which he referred to an African American attorney in his office as “boy” and told him to watch the way he spoke to “white folks.” Sessions’ 1986 confirmation for a federal judgeship was ultimately denied by a Republican-controlled senate after a letter from Coretta Scott King — Martin Luther King’s widow — urged senators to not confirm Sessions due to his racially biased prosecution of civil rights activists.
Fairooz has not said whether or not she would appeal her conviction. Her lawyers are attempting to throw out the verdict with post-trial motions.
Jamie Green is a contributor to the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.