According to Trump’s staff, Booker praised Sessions.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at the second day of a confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., before the Senate Judiciary Committee. CREDIT: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) made history on Wednesday when he became the first sitting Senator to testify against a Senate colleague, attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions. In his remarks, the New Jersey Democrat called Sessions a threat to all aspects of the American justice system.

“Senator Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job — to aggressively pursue the Congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights, and justice for all of our citizens,” he said. “In fact, at numerous times in his career, he has demonstrated a hostility towards these convictions and has worked to frustrate attempts to advance these ideals.”

Speaking on an all-black panel alongside civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (R-GA), Booker called on Congress to remember the protections that the Justice Department has enshrined into law for African Americans, women, immigrants, and other marginalized populations. It’s the job of the attorney general, he warned, to continue that progress.

“The arc of the moral universe does not just naturally curve toward justice; we must bend it,” he said.

Before building the case against Sessions, Booker also addressed criticisms of his decision to testify.

“I know that some of my colleagues are unhappy that I’m breaking with Senate tradition to testify against the nomination of one of my colleagues,” he said. “But I believe, like perhaps all of my colleagues, that in the choice between standing with Senate norms or standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country, I will always choose conscience and country.”

As Booker spoke, the Trump transition team sent an email to reporters with the subject line: “U.S. Sen. Schumer and Top Democrats Praise U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions.”

The email began by highlighting a February 2016 event in which Booker said he is “blessed and honored” to have partnered with Sessions to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 1965 Selma march foot soldiers.

The quote was also emphasized by the Republican National Committee and other Republicans. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) mentioned it when he wrote on Facebook Tuesday that he was “very disappointed that Senator Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Senator Sessions.”

“This disgraceful breach of custom is especially surprising since Senator Booker just last year said he was ‘honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions’ on a resolution honoring civil-rights marchers,” Cotton continued.

Republican lawmakers are correct that Booker did in fact thank Sessions for helping him designate the award to the voting rights champions. As almost any senator who has served for multiple decades, Sessions has, on occasion, worked with Democrats to advance legislation or plan and conduct ceremonies recognizing minorities.

But that alone does not qualify Sessions to be attorney general, or make up for his long history of suppressing voters, making racist remarks, degrading immigrants, and blocking attempts to diversify the justice system.

Cory Booker made history. Then Team Trump rewrote it. was originally published in ThinkProgress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.