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Woman Laughing at Sessions Confirmation Faces Jail Time

Image: Woman Laughing at Sessions Confirmation Faces Jail Time

Protesters hold signs at Sessions confirmation hearing. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

By    |   Thursday, 04 May 2017 07:02 AM

A woman who laughed loudly at Jeff Sessions' January confirmation hearing for attorney general now faces jail time for causing a disruption.

Desiree Fairooz, 61, a veteran member of activist group Code Pink, was found guilty Wednesday after a two-day trial in District of Columbia Superior Court with two other protesters arrested during Sessions' hearing, reported The New York Times.

The disruption occurred when U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby testified that Sessions's record of "treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented," Ariel Gold, the campaign director of Code Pink, told the Times.

Fairooz claimed she giggled after Shelby's statement.

"I just couldn't hold it," Fairooz said. "It was spontaneous. It was an immediate rejection of what I considered an outright lie or pure ignorance."

Prosecutors, though, said in court documents that Fairooz let out a loud burst of laughter in an attempt to actually disrupt the hearing. Protesters Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, who initially sat with Fairooz, were dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes and were arrested as the hearing started.

"In response to (Shelby's) statement, defendant Fairooz, who had been sitting with defendants Barry and Bianchi before their disruption and removal, let out aloud [sic] burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter," government prosecutors said in court documents, according to NBC News.

U.S. Attorney Bill Miller told NBC News that Fairooz was found guilty of disrupting Congress and parading/demonstrating while Barry and Bianchi were each found guilty of parading/demonstrating and unlawful display.

The charges, which are misdemeanors, each carry a maximum of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, said Miller.

Code Pink issued a statement, claiming that group members were peaceful in their protest of Sessions.

"Since Code Pink formed at the start of the Iraq war, we have continuously been in the halls of Congress and in the streets standing up against war, militarism, and hatred," the statement said, per NBC News. "That Tighe, Lenny, and Desiree were convicted for peacefully protesting the hatred and racism of Jeff Sessions is an affront to justice and contrary to the kind of peaceful tolerant world we all deserve to live in."

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A woman who laughed loudly at Jeff Sessions' January confirmation hearing for attorney general now faces jail time for causing a disruption.
woman, laughing, jeff sessions
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2017-02-04
Thursday, 04 May 2017 07:02 AM
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