Pete Sessions (R-Texas) first served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997–2019. In 2020, he regained his seat representing Texas’ 17th Congressional District and won again in the 2022 midterm election.
Throughout his more than two decades in Congress, Sessions has gained a reputation for his right-wing positions and hypocrisy. He holds a strong stance against legalizing marijuana and for ending birthright citizenship and requiring victims of campus sexual assault to first go to the police before allowing the university to investigate their claims. After calling earmarks “a symbol of a broken Washington to the American people,” he directed a $1.6 million earmark for blimp research to a company that admitted to having no experience in government contracting. However, the company did have a lobbyist working on its behalf who had previously been one of Sessions’ congressional aides.
After the 2020 presidential election, Sessions adhered to the GOP playbook by casting doubt on the legitimacy of Biden’s victory. He spread the Big Lie, objected to certifying the Electoral College results, and voted against both impeaching Trump for inciting the mob and establishing a special House committee to investigate the insurrection, among other measures.
January 6, 2021
- On Jan. 3, 2021, Sessions tweeted, “Had a great meeting today with folks from ‘Stop the Steal’ at our nation’s Capitol. I encouraged them to keep fighting and assured them I look forward to doing MY duty on January 6th.” He later deleted the tweet.
- Just hours after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Sessions joined 146 other congressional Republicans in refusing to certify Biden’s win of the 2020 presidential election.
- He opposed impeaching Trump for his role in instigating the attack on the Capitol and for fanning the flames once the riot broke out, saying: “It will not succeed, it is done for political purposes.”
- Sessions voted against establishing a House committee to investigate the genesis of the mob attack that disrupted congressional proceedings underway that day. In a prepared statement posted on May 20, 2021, he wrote: “Right now, there is a rushed desire for judgment. Yet, not one person has been charged with sedition. For us to jump to conclusions and to use legal terms not supported by facts is a mistake.”
- In an op-ed published on Jan. 7, 2022, Sessions blamed everybody but Trump and the GOP for the insurrection, writing, “Democrats in partnership with the mainstream media have taken every opportunity to deceive Americans by misleading and meritless rhetoric. Speaker Pelosi and her phony Select Committee point their fingers at everyone else all while denying to testify in front of Congress themselves.”
The Big Lie
- On Dec. 16, 2020, Sessions posted a video to his Facebook profile with the caption “Although the Texas case failed, election fraud still must be investigated.” In the video, he said, “it is in the best interest of us all to make sure that we resolve each of these issues now.”
- In defending his decision to object to certification of the 2020 Electoral College results, Sessions said, “We believe that there is substantial evidence that we should go and review before we move forward.”
- On Jul. 15, 2021, Sessions shared a clip of Tucker Carlson Tonight in which he claims to have “hard evidence” of voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia.
- Texas State Rep. Steve Toth (R ) sponsored legislation to audit the 2020 election in Texas, but with a focus on the large urban counties where Biden won a majority. According to the Washington Post, Toth became “convinced an audit was needed after a meeting earlier this year with U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, who claimed to have evidence of vote fraud in a 2018 race that he lost.”