Well, it looks like Donald Trump has at least one person on his side in his apparent effort to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation — Jeff Sessions.
Sessions, the sitting Attorney General, is appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee this Tuesday afternoon, but he’s not answering many questions.
Instead, he’s produced the curious defense of protecting the right of the President to invoke executive privilege at some point in the future, even though Sessions claims that Trump has not done so thus far.
In response to what the Senators on the Intel Committee are describing as “stonewalling,” Democratic Senator Sen. Martin Heinrich accused the Attorney General of obstruction of justice, which is the same charge lobbed at President Trump himself in recent weeks.
— Common Defense (@commondefense) June 13, 2017
Sessions is before the Intel Committee this Tuesday on account of recent testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey to the effect of that there has long been reason to suspect Sessions as complicit in the Russian effort to influence the 2016 election.
Sessions has refused, among other things, to answer the question of whether or not he discussed the Russia inquiry with President Trump, particularly in light of the firing of James Comey from the directorship of the FBI. It’s been alleged that Trump firing Comey, who was helping lead the Russia investigation, was part of a campaign of obstruction of justice on the President’s part.
Besides the firing of Comey, Trump is also alleged to have tried to get the former FBI Director to end the investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn while Comey still had a job.
The initial explanation from the White House for Comey’s firing, and one maintained by Sessions during his Tuesday hearing, is that he was not up to par, professionally speaking. Yet it was Trump himself who blurted out to Lester Holt on television that Comey was fired because Trump wanted the Russia scandal to “go away.”
Again, however, Sessions refused to answer on Tuesday whether or not he’d ever discussed the Russia inquiry with Trump.
Sessions won't say if he discussed Russia inquiry w Trump. Yet he discussed firing Comey with Trump, by his telling; Trump says bc of Russia
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) June 13, 2017
Sessions, for what it’s worth, claims that he had effectively recused himself from the Russia investigation on his first day in office and never even accessed any relevant files.
Among other things, Sessions also refused to answer whether anyone in the Trump Administration was considering pardons related to the Russia investigation.
Check out a video of some of Senator Heinrich’s comments to Sessions below.
Sen. Martin Heinrich tells Attorney General Jeff Sessions he is “obstructing” the congressional Russia investigation https://t.co/llTx1PeNTn
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) June 13, 2017
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