Highlights from testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 18:07
The Mayflower Hotel was at the center of Jeff Sessions' questioning by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a popular conspiracy theory claims that the swanky Washington, D.C., hotel is actually at the center of a much larger scandal surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
As expected, lawmakers grilled Sessions about his role in Comey's firing, his own involvement in the Trump campaign and his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US. But there was an overlooked moment that merits notice: a statement from Sessions' testimony about the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Sessions originally said that he disaffiliated himself simply because he was an adviser to Trump during the campaign, but doubt was cast on that explanation when Comey testified last week and said he had thought Sessions would recuse himself earlier than he did for "problematic" reasons that needed to be discussed in a closed session. For one thing, the attorney general testified in a separate congressional hearing: "I have confidence in Mr. Mueller".
At one point, Sen.
"He told me repeatedly that he had talked to lots of people about me, including our current attorney general, and had learned that I was doing a great job and that I was extremely well-liked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation workforce", Comey told the committee. The American people are thus squarely presented with a "he said, he said", situation. Sessions fired back. "There are none, Sen".
"You raised your right hand here today and you said you would solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and noting but the truth". Wyden. There are none.
"I am not stonewalling", Sessions told Sen.
The attorney general's testimony comes days after Comey told congressional investigators that FBI leaders expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation before the attorney general's March announcement, however, he declined to publicly say what led to that assessment. The president has denied asking Comey to drop the Flynn matter.
Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump are not likely to file their planned complaint this week against former FBI Director James Comey over disclosing details about conversations with the president, a spokesman for Trump's legal team said on Tuesday.
Trump's Attorney General really wants to interfere with state marijuana legalization regimes, even for highly popular medical marijuana use.
Sessions described the exchange very differently Tuesday. I am concerned that the president still does not recognize the severity of the threat.
He said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice" on private discussions with the White House.
Sessions said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein prepared a memo on Comey's performance that "noted some serious problems" with his performance. Comey's decision to announce previous year that Clinton would not be prosecuted over her emails was a "usurpation" of the Justice Department's authority, Sessions said. Russian Federation has denied interfering in the USA election.
During the hearing, Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation.
Rosenstein, who has been on the job for six weeks, said only he could fire Mueller, and only if he found good cause to do so. "That would be a violation of the communications rule that I have". He also recounted a conversation that took place after the president ordered everyone else to leave the room, in which the president asked him to shut down an investigation of a former associate who had been fired for lying about his contacts with the Russians.