Wednesday, June 14, 2017

AG Sessions Feigns Indignation, Stonewalls Through His Testimony To The Senate Intelligence Committee

Today Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III testified  before his former colleagues at the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Viewing the proceedings was not unlike watching a root canal done on a cranky amnesiatic octogenarian Keebler elf.

When Jeffery wasn't clutching his pearls and asking for his fainting couch every time he was asked about a Russian or Donald Trump he was stonewalling.

First there was...

INDIGNATION


In his opening statements Session railed against the suggestion that he might have participated in any kind of collusion against the United States calling it an “appalling and detestable lie.” Sessions then added that nothing “improper” occurred in his conversations with Ambassador Kislyak (Yes, the ones he lied about having).

Sessions then proceeded to blast Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) who had tripped him up about his interactions with Russian officials at his confirmation hearing for the attorney general post. Sessions claimed Franken had asked a “rambling question” after "after six hours of testimony" about whether any of Trump's staff had ever met with any Russians during the campaign.

Sessions said of the interaction...

I was taken aback by that explosive allegation, which he said was being reported as breaking news that very day, in which I had not heard. I wanted to refute that immediately, any suggestion that I was part of such an activity.

Sessions then said the assertion that he had not answer Franken’s question honestly, which he clearly didn't, was “false!

Session also became irritable at times when certain members had backed him into a corner he seemed unable to maneuver out of.

When Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) pressed him over Comey’s recent comments that he had expected the attorney general to recuse himself from the Russia probe for reasons he could not discuss Wyden asked what those matters were.

Sessions angrily replied...

This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don’t appreciate it.

Sessions went on to claim he would not be intimidated by the “false attacks” innuendo and leaks about the Russia investigation that he implied were part of an effort to derail the Trump administration agenda.

Then came the long winded non-answers....


STONEWALLING


Despite the claims by the Justice Department that Sessions "wanted" to testify publicly before the Committee because the former Alabama senator claimed ignorance or a faulty memory to just about every question he was asked.

Taking his cue from both Director Dan Coats and Adm. Michael Rogers, who testified (but not really) a week earlier Sessions took the fifth and claimed executive privilege without ever saying those words.

An instance of this unresponsive behavior occurred when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Sessions would not say whether he believed Trump would have fired Comey regardless of recommendations from top Justice Department officials, as Trump told Lester Holt in their now infamous interview on NBC News.

Sessions demurred...

I guess I’ll just have to let his words speak for himself,

Then there was an exchange with Senator Angus King (I-ME) who asked the Attorney General whether or not he had been briefed on Russian interference into the 2016 US elections. Sessions stunned the committee when he actually said this...

I know nothing but what I have read in the paper. I have never received any detailed briefing on how hacking occurred or how information was alleged to have influenced the campaign.

It did not stop there. Here are a few more examples of the types of Sessions' bull-shit non-answers...

I did not have any private meetings nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel,

I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador or any other Russian officials."

"If any brief interaction occurred in passing with the Russian ambassador during that reception, I do not remember it.

Let me state this clearly, colleagues: I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States. Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign.

I am not stonewalling. I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice. You don’t walk into any hearing or committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with the president of the United States ― who is entitled to receive confidential communications ― in your best judgment about a host of issues and have to be accused of stonewalling for not answering on that.

It got so bad that some members of the committee became outwardly fed up with Sessions' games.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) complained that Sessions was not answering lawmakers’ questions about his conversations with Trump, even though the president did not invoke executive privilege ahead of the hearing...

"I think your silence, like the silence of Director Coats, like the silence of Adm. Rogers, speaks volumes,

And so it went.

Nothing was learned except that the people who work as Trump's underlings would rather pretend to be lobotomy patients avoiding either contradicting or implicating their boss than face his wrath or lose their precious jobs.

COURAGE!

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