Three activists from advocacy group Code Pink were convicted Wednesday of disrupting the confirmation hearings of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to multiple reports.
Desiree A. Fairooz was convicted of disorderly conduct and parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds, according to The New York Times. Tighe Barry and Lenny Bianchi, who dressed as Ku Klux Klan members, were convicted of parading or demonstrating.
Fairooz, 61, said she was arrested for laughing at the hearing after Sessions’ record was described as one of “treating all Americans equally under the law” by fellow Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby.
“I just couldn’t hold it in,” she told The New York Times. “It was spontaneous. It was an immediate rejection of what I considered an outright lie or pure ignorance.”
Fairooz was physically removed from the hearing after that. While she was being removed, Fairooz asked, “Why am I being taken out of here? This man is evil. Pure evil. Do not vote for Jeff Sessions. I was going to be quiet. Now you’re going to have me arrested. For what? For what? His voting record is evil.”
Sessions had been denied a federal judgeship in 1986 in part because of accusations of racism. His nomination was defeated by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those allegations were brought back up during his confirmation hearings for attorney general.
During the trial, Fairooz said she has been arrested about 10 times for activism, according to the New York Daily News. She was pictured protesting former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice by approaching Rice with blood on her hands in 2007.
Each protester could face up to 12 months in jail, according to The New York Times. A sentence hearing is scheduled for June 21.
“As an American who loves the Constitution and the rule of law, I felt compelled to be present with my protest of the nomination,” Barry said in a statement on the Code Pink website.
Said Code Pink campaign director Ariel Gold: “That our members were convicted for peacefully protesting and speaking truth to lies hatred and racism of Jeff Sessions is an affront to justice.”
Code Pink touts itself as a “women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.”