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Thomas Figures, an assistant U.S. attorney whose accusations of racial bias torpedoed Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination to the federal bench in 1986, has a history of erratic and disturbed behavior, colleagues and estranged family say.
New sworn statements obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation given by former colleagues allege Figures was a paranoid figure who, among other things, believed CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather was communicating with him through his television. An office loner with a flair for confrontation, Figures was later indicted by federal authorities for attempting to bribe a witness.
Years - Testimony - Press - Coverage - Sessions
30 years later, his testimony continues to shape press coverage of Sessions’ nomination to serve as attorney general in the Trump administration. Figures died in 2015.
A Democrat who joined the U.S. attorney’s office during the Jimmy Carter administration, Figures was the first black man to serve as a federal prosecutor in Mobile, Ala. Though a stalwart of local Democratic politics — he was vice chair of the Mobile County Democratic Conference and his brother was a state senator — Figures chose to remain on the staff of the district’s new conservative U.S. attorney, one Jeff Sessions, following the election of former President Ronald Reagan. The pair worked together for five years.
Sessions - Figures - Part - Ways - Moment
Sessions and Figures would part ways, if only for a moment, in 1985. One year later, Sessions was preparing for the exchange of platitudes typical of a committee hearing for a district judgeship, when Figures scuttled his nomination with crippling allegations of racist sympathies.
Invited by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to give testimony to his character, Figures alleged Sessions regularly called him “boy” in private and admonished him to watch his mouth around the office’s white employees. His allegations were not corroborated by any member of Sessions’ staff. He also falsely claimed that Sessions ordered him to...
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