Let’s cut to the chase here — Jeff Sessions’ congressional testimony on Tuesday was an absolute joke. If you knew nothing else about what took place, all you’d really need to know is that, despite admitting the fact that Donald Trump had not asserted his right of executive privilege (a move any president can use to protect private conversations), Sessions still refused to answer questions seeking specifics about topics the two had discussed.
Well, according to Sessions, just in case, in the future, Trump does decide to exercise that right. In other words, even though Trump hadn’t asserted that power, it didn’t matter a great deal, because Sessions was answering questions as if he had.
However, in my opinion, that wasn’t even the most damning part of all of this that proves Sessions and Trump are in a whole lot of trouble.
Of everything Sessions said — or in many instances, didn’t say — what stood out to me most was how he worded his answers concerning a possible third meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
This all centers around comments James Comey made during his testimony last week where, apparently behind closed doors, he told lawmakers that the FBI was looking into a possible third meeting between Sessions and the Russian ambassador. If true, this would clearly be a huge scandal after Sessions was already caught lying to Congress about two previous meetings he had during last year’s campaign with Mr. Kislyak.
While he denies any wrongdoing, it definitely doesn’t look good when the current attorney general appears, at least in the eyes of many, to have committed perjury when he lied to the Senate earlier this year about his contact with the Russian ambassador.
Now with reports that there could have possibly been another meeting he didn’t disclose, that could effectively mark the “end of the road,” so to speak, for Sessions as attorney general.
But when he was asked about this possible third meeting, Sessions didn’t exactly flat-out deny it took place. He didn’t say, emphatically, that he never had another meeting. Instead, he said he had “no recollection” of a third meeting at the Mayflower Hotel. Then after being pressed further about this potential third undisclosed meeting, Sessions replied, “I could say that I possibly had a meeting but I still do not recall it.”
So, let me get this straight. When he testified in front of the Senate the first time, the two previous meetings with the Russian ambassador simply slipped his mind — even though he was directly asked if he had met with any Russian officials during last year’s campaign.
Now, when asked about a third potential meeting between he and the ambassador from Russia, Sessions just happens to not recall whether or not he met with the same person he just happened to forget to mention meeting with during his first congressional testimony?
Is this Russian ambassador that forgettable that Sessions seems to frequently forget that he’s met with him? If so, is he truly competent enough to be this nation’s attorney general? I would think remembering meetings with an ambassador from a top adversary, and a country that launched a cyber attack against us last year, would be kind of a “bare bones” qualification for our country’s “chief law enforcement officer.”
The way in which he worded his responses to these inquiries is what is truly telling. He did so in a way where, if later evidence springs up proving that this meeting took place, he can simply say that, at the time he testified in front of Congress, he didn’t deny it had, he just… “didn’t recall.” That might not get him completely out of trouble, but it would serve as protection against accusations that he lied under oath — again.
This goes back to what I said on Facebook and Twitter Tuesday afternoon. Jeff Sessions can’t be completely open, honest, and forthcoming about what he knows. If he did, then he’d almost certainly lose his job, Trump would likely face impeachment, and both men (along with several others) could very well be looking at time behind bars. When you’re someone who’s likely guilty of something they don’t want people finding out about, the last thing you can do is be completely honest about what you know. Furthermore, if you’re placed under the penalty of perjury and face legal ramifications for lying under oath, that’s when you do what Sessions did — stonewall, play dumb, refuse to answer simple questions, and give vague answers.
Those are the types of responses someone gives when their only real hope is that the evidence they know exists isn’t found.
When Jeff Sessions said he couldn’t “recall” if an alleged third meeting with the Russian ambassador had taken place, he was either:
- Flat-out lying hoping that the FBI can’t find any concrete evidence that the two met for a third time, but didn’t want to completely deny it, commit perjury in the process, and face the legal ramifications from that. – or –
- He’s too incompetent to be attorney general, because he apparently can’t recall meetings with the ambassador from Russia — one of our nation’s top adversaries.
Either way, try as they might, there’s no way for Donald Trump and the GOP to spin Jeff Sessions’ testimony as anything but a pretty big disaster — and testimony that came off as far less credible than James Comey’s last Thursday.