Government & Politics

The Phony Collusion Sessions

AG Jeff Sessions was the latest Demo target, but they weren't able to do much besides make themselves look foolish.

Lewis Morris · Jun. 14, 2017

Democrats are always looking to stir up some drama in their ongoing witch hunt, er, investigation, into President Donald Trump and possible collusion with the Russians over election tampering. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was the latest target in Senate testimony Tuesday, but this one didn’t have much in the way of substance.

Sessions’ three-hour appearance was peppered with some biting back and forth with Democrat Senators, who on several occasions tried to put words in the AG’s mouth. He was having none of it. Sessions made it clear from his opening statement that he was not going to be pushed around so that Democrats could score political points. “The suggestion that I participated in any collusion … is an appalling and detestable lie,” he insisted.

Democrats came at Sessions on a number of points, one big one being his dealings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He admitted meeting with Kislyak during the 2016 Republican National Convention and once in his Senate office, which he did not disclose during his confirmation hearings. Democrats tried to make more of this, suggesting that he was ducking questions about possible inappropriate interactions with Russian officials.

Sessions vigorously defended himself against the allegations, as well as suggestions in the media about meetings he may have had with Russian officials in 2016. “If any brief interaction occurred … I do not remember it,” Sessions said, adding that if there was a conversation with the Russian ambassador, it was “certainly nothing improper.”

Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian election tampering several weeks ago. He noted during his testimony, “I recused myself from any investigation into the campaign for president, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false accusations.”

Sessions did not fall into the trap laid by questions about his private conversations with Trump regarding the investigation and the firing of FBI Director James Comey. He noted that those conversations were private and he was not comfortable going into detail.

“Consistent with longstanding Department of Justice practice,” Sessions said, “I cannot and will not violate my duty to protect confidential communications with the president.”

He was reminded that Trump has not invoked executive privilege on this matter, suggesting that he had a duty to answer the questions. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) went so far as to say that Sessions was stonewalling.

“I am not stonewalling,” Session fired back. “I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice.” Sessions is absolutely right to avoid answering these questions, though Democrats clearly meant to get him on the record refusing to answer questions.

Sessions also refuted former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony last week suggesting that Trump pressured Comey to drop the investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. He noted that Comey could have approached him or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is now overseeing the Russian investigation in the wake of Sessions rescuing himself. Comey did not do so.

Sessions told the Intelligence Committee that he agreed that the FBI and the Justice Department needed to follow department policies regarding its contacts with the White House in such sensitive matters.

Democrats also tried to play a rather absurd game of what-if by speculating what role Sessions would have in an alleged attempt to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel who will be considering any possible improprieties by the White House regarding the Russian hacking investigation.

Sessions reminded the Committee that Rosenstein would be the person with the power to make such a call. Rosenstein was forced to ponder the same question Tuesday in a separate appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee. He responded that he would only comply with an order to fire the special counsel if it was “lawful and appropriate.”

Why speculate about such a matter? There has been no proof or even suggestion by the White House that Mueller could be fired. Indeed, he has barely begun his work. It’s simple: Democrats are eager to raise the specter of Watergate and the 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre,” when President Richard Nixon fired the attorney general and deputy attorney general when they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

It was a particularly tasteless and embarrassing line of questioning for both Sessions and Rosenstein to endure. Such speculation serves no purpose other than to stir up the Democrat donor base and keep the MSM churning out headlines equating Trump to Nixon, even though the only real connection between the two exists in the minds of the anti-Trump crowd.

It’s easy to see why Democrats were so aggressive with Sessions. Comey’s testimony, much to leftist dismay, did not provide a smoking gun or a gotcha moment to nail Trump. In fact, Comey inadvertently reminded us of former Attorney General Loretta’s Lynch’s attempts to squelch the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s destruction of evidence and her own possible collusion with Russia and several other nations via the now-defunct Clinton Foundation.

Democrats, who once called for Comey’s head on a pike, had hoped he would be their poster boy for yanking Trump out of the White House. Their MSM friends did their best to spin the former FBI Director’s testimony into proof that Trump was playing fast and loose with the law. But they were only able to sell that lemon to those already committed to Trump’s destruction.

The problem with the Sessions testimony on Tuesday was that while he gave an honest and vigorous defense and laid out a logical argument, he may have only served to fuel the fires of the anti-Trump crowd. In a way, the heated exchanges between Sessions and Democrats may have played right into their hands. They’ll push the idea in the media that the only reason Sessions got so testy is because he has something to hide. This will only prompt more questions and more calls for testimony and documents and anything at all that will give the public appearance that there is a crime somewhere. The whole point is to impede the Trump administration’s ability to govern.

And all the while special prosecutor Robert Mueller is waiting in the wings. The faux drama continues.

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