Activist convicted of laughing at Jeff Sessions during hearing; faces year in prison

An activist who allegedly laughed at then Senator Jeff Sessions during his Senate confirmation hearing was convicted on Wednesday for the display, the New York Times reported. 

Desiree A. Fairooz was convicted of disorderly and disruptive conduct and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds. The charges could land Fairooz, a member of the left-wing organization Code Pink, in prison for up to one year. She will be sentenced on June 21. 

Two other fellow Code Pink protesters were also charged for parading or demonstrating.They too could face up to a year in prison.

The alleged incident took place on Jan. 10, early in the confirmation hearing when Sessions was being introduced by Sen. Richard Shelby. 

During a C-Span feed of the hearing, you could hear a chuckle from someone in the crowd after Shelby said that Sessions' "extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented." The chuckle could be heard by microphones for one or two seconds. The laugh did not stop Shelby from continuing with his remarks. 

Roughly one minute later, a group of police officers escorted Fairooz out of hearing room, as she held a sign in opposition of Sessions' nomination. 

“I felt it was my responsibility as a citizen to dissent at the confirmation hearing of Senator Jeff Sessions, a man who professes anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT policies, who has voted against several civil rights measures and who jokes about the white supremacist terrorist group the Ku Klux Klan,” Fairooz said in a statement. 

But prosecutors said that Fairooz's outburst was disruptive. 

According to the New York Times, citing court documents,  Fairooz had “let out a loud burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter,” Police made an attempt to “quietly escort” her, but she “grew loud and more disruptive, eventually halting the confirmation hearing,”

You can decide for yourself if her actions were disruptive by watching the video below (the incident begins at 33:50).

Print this article Back to Top