Alabama’s foul-tempered elf and unlikely U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III, put on quite a display of Southern defiance before the Senate intelligence committee yesterday. Right-wingers across the Internet are high-fiving each other over Sessions’s self-righteous denials of any wrong-doing, but mostly what Sessions did during his testimony was to refuse to answer any questions about his discussions with President Trump, along with more “I don’t knows” than I can count.
Other than confirming the substance of former FBI Director James Comey’s account of his conversation with Sessions where Comey expressed concern that Trump’s efforts to have private direct conversations with the director were improper (Sessions did dispute that he was silent in response to Comey’s statement, but Comey took better notes), Sessions did not really provide any new information at all. He did, of course, call all claims of wrongdoing “detestable lies” and “scurrilous and false accusations,” and said that his recusal from the Russia investigation did not recuse him from “defending [his] honor,” all delivered in his loud corn-pone drawl that undoubtedly delighted Trump’s wingnut army of wackos.
He did not know anything about the investigation into the Russian effort to influence the U.S. presidential election.
He claimed ignorance of any contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign.
He did not explain how it was okay for him to recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of his failure to disclose his own conversations with Russian officials, but still participate in the decision to fire Comey, which President Trump himself stated was because of the Russia investigation.
He claimed that the Comey firing was because of his mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation (which was indeed mishandled), directly contradicting Trump’s explanation that the firing was because Comey kept the Russia investigation going.
He refused to answer a single question about any conversations he had with Trump, not based on any invocation of executive privilege (which would have been legally frivolous), but because of DOJ “policy” and “tradition” of keeping conversations between the AG and the president confidential. This “reason” for refusing to answer relevant questions only worked because the Republicans control the Senate, because legally it is not a reason at all. Remember when former Obama administration AG Eric Holder refused to testify before a committee in the GOP-controlled Senate and the Senate sued to compel him to testify and won?
Sessions to committee: “Ah declare, Ah have done nothing wrong, and anyone who says differently has offended my Southern honor and dignity, and Ah can’t be bothered to answer any of your silly questions.”
Sounds about right for this administration. What a joke.
On the bright side, Senator Kamala Harris (D. Cal.) used the Sessions hearing to further cement her growing reputation as a leading Democratic badass. Harris in 2020?