The Alabama records show that Sessions owns subsurface rights to oil and other minerals on more than 600 acres in his home state, some of which are adjacent to a federal wildlife preserve.
The holdings are small, producing revenue in the range of $4,700 annually. But the interests were not disclosed on forms sent by Sessions to the Office of Government Ethics, which reviews the assets of Cabinet nominees for potential conflicts of interest.
Democrats have accused Republicans of trying to rush through President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks before ethics checks can be completed, and they are seizing on the apparent lapse by Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama, to bolster their argument. His confirmation hearing is scheduled to begin Tuesday.
“I am troubled by any omissions,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Judiciary Committee. “But this is particularly troubling because this ownership interest involves oil and gas holdings connected to a federal wildlife refuge.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions earns around $4,700 a year from mineral rights in Alabama. (Molly Riley/AP)