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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tthe Sessions Testimony So Far

Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee as I write this.  So far we had a statement from the chairman, the ranking member and Attorney General Sessions.  That was followed by questioning as well.  Despite the articles in the mainstream media that talked about Sessions' future "hanging in the balance", the testimony has been a big nothing so far.  That is no surprise.  Like every other big moment in the so called investigation, it produced nothing indicating any wrongdoing by President Trump or his campaign.  In essence, here's what Sessions has to say:

1.  From the day after he was sworn in, he started the process to determine if he needed to recuse himself from the investigation.  Ultimately, he decided that a Department of Justice regulation that barred department personnel from investigating those with whom they have a personal relationship including especially investigations of a political campaign in which one was personally involved, required him to recuse himself.  Sessions then did that.  Sessions also was never briefed about the Russia investigation before he recused himself.

2.  Regarding the firing of Comey, Sessions says that recusing himself from a particular investigation did not require him to avoid acting as the head of the Justice Department when it came to staffing or similar matters.  He accepted the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General when it came to Comey.  Sessions also said that prior to his being sworn in, he had spoken to Rod Rosenstein, now Deputy Attorney General, and they agreed that it would be best to get a clean start with the leadership at the FBI.

3.  Sessions also said that the supposed third meeting he had with the Russians at the Mayflower hotel in April of 2016 was a meeting he does not recall.  He attended a foreign policy speech given by the President that day at the hotel.  Before the speech, he was at a reception with about 40 other people.  He does not remember the Russian ambassador being there, but he has seen video of people coming into the room where the speech was given and the Russian ambassador is seen on the tape.

That's it.  Those are the big "bombshells" about which the mainstream media has been hyperventilating.  Beyond that, the whole thing meaningless.

Who knows, maybe one of the last few senators will find a question of importance, although that is doubtful.  Right now, the big headline being pushed by the media is that Sessions has confidence in the special counsel, Mr. Mueller.  That's a dishonest report, however.  Sessions said that he did not know anything about what Mueller is doing since he has not been briefed on the subject.  Sessions then went on to say that he had worked with Mueller in the past and thought he had done a good job.

Of course, there is one final point that needs to be explained.  Mueller is working for the DOJ and reporting to the Deputy Attorney General.  Most likely that makes Mueller subject to the same regulations that led Sessions to recuse himself.  We also know that Mueller has a very close personal relationship with Jim Comey whose personal honesty and integrity are now a central issue in the investigation.  Shouldn't the DOJ regulations require Mueller to recuse himself just as they required Sessions to do so?

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