DOJ Records Regarding Sessions’s Remarks at Summit on Religious Liberty

Records from the Department of Justice in response to American Oversight’s request for documents relating to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s remarks at the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty on July 11, 2017. The event was closed to the press

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Alliance Defending Freedom as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

In these records: 

July 13, 2017: Kelly Creighton, an official at the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA), sent an email to then Director of Public Affairs Sarah Isgur Flores and then-Deputy Director Ian Prior with the subject line “Alliance Defending Freedom” and wrote: “Are we releasing/posting the remarks from this event? OIP has received about a dozen requests for the prepared remarks.”

Flores replied with a link to the Federalist article “Here’s The Speech Jeff Sessions Delivered To Christian First Amendment Lawyers.”

The next day, Creighton wrote back: “I think this will work. There may be some pushback because the remarks are not on a ‘.gov’ site, but hopefully, this will help OIP clear out the requests.”

Also on July 13, Prior emailed Flores with the subject line “RE: Sessions comment to ADF in The Federalist?” and commented on what appears to be text from the article “A Conservative Media Site Just Published Jeff Sessions’ No Press-Allowed Religious Freedom Speech,” written by Dominic Holden and published by BuzzFeed News. “No sh*t Sherlock,” Prior wrote.

Sessions also attended the Alliance Defending Freedom’s Summit on Religious Liberty in August 2018. The remarks from this particular event were posted on the Department of Justice’s official website.

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