Sessions Testifies on Interactions with Russia

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was pressed by Senators on a wide range of issues, most notably continued questioning into the extent of his involvement with representatives of the Russian government.

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) was especially pointed in his line of questioning.

"Not being able to recall what you discussed with him is very different than saying, 'I have not had communications with the Russians,'" Franken said. "The ambassador from Russia is Russian. And how your responses morphed from, 'I did not have communications with the Russians' to 'I did not discuss substantive, I did not discuss the political campaign' and then finally going to, 'I did not discuss interference in the election.' That, to me, is moving the goal posts every time. ... By the end, we're going to a 75-yard field goal."

"Let me just say, without hesitation, that I conducted no improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding a campaign or any other item facing this country," Sessions responded.

Sessions also expressed additional hesitation in addressing questions about his communications with Russia in the 2016 elections, stating that it is “possible” that “some comment was made about what Trump’s positions were,” stating, however, “I don’t think there was any discussion about the details of the campaign.” A response that differs slightly from his June account of his interactions, during which he said he did not “recall any specific political discussions.”

Sessions was also questioned about recent comments from President Trump, who called it "frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write." Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked Sessions whether he could guarantee the Department of Justice would not put reporters in jail for doing their jobs.

Sessions responded, “Well, I don't know that I can make a blanket commitment to that effect. But I would say this: We have not taken any aggressive action against the media at this point. But we have matters that involve the most serious national security issues, that put our country at risk, and we will utilize the authorities that we have, legally and constitutionally, if we have to.”

 

 

 Image: "Jeff Sessions" by Gage Skidmore. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0. Cropped/altered from original.

 

Posted in General News

Tags: Justice Department, DOJ, Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions, Russia

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