Congressman Cohen Derails Sessions Russia Hearing To Ask About Weed
Nov 15, 2017, 00:50
Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee that he now recalls a meeting a year ago with then-candidate Trump where a campaign adviser said he had connections with Moscow and could help arrange a Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sessions noted that there have only ever been two special counsels: one for the Waco siege in April 1993, and Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
Sessions also told the House committee that he did not recall an encounter with another campaign adviser, Carter Page.
In his opening statement, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., went through Sessions's public statements on Russia-related matters, highlighting instances in which what Sessions said did not comport with other evidence.
Sessions responded to these revelations by insisting that he'd met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in his capacity as US senator (not as a Trump surrogate), and that they did not discuss the 2016 election.
The New York Times reported that the letter "appeared to be a direct response to Mr. Trump's statement on November 3, when he said he was disappointed with his beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and that longstanding unproven allegations about the Clintons and the Obama administration should be investigated". Sessions would not say whether the dossier was used by the FBI to obtain warrants to surveil Trump associates, nor would he comment on any hypothetical investigation into Justice Department leaks to the media about the dossier.
Rep. Karen Bass, a Los Angeles Democrat, pressed Sessions on the report during an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, explaining that activists are concerned they'll be unfairly labeled for protesting. He has "no clear recollection" of the March 2016 meeting where George Papadopoulos offered to set up a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin - but the attorney general does remember shooting down the campaign aide's unseemly suggestion.
"Each of those are pretty special, factual situations", Sessions said, "and we will use the proper standards".
"I believe that I wanted to make clear that he wasn't authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter", he testified. "When Republican Representative Jim Jordan detailed what the controversy "looks like" to him, the attorney general responded: "'Looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel".
Sessions answered by trying to give context: "When I became United States Attorney in 1981, and drugs were being used widely, over a period of years, it became unfashionable, unpopular, and... it was seen as such that good people didn't use marijuana".
As the time Conyers was allotted to question Sessions drew to a close, he noted that at his confirmation hearing, Sessions promised to recuse himself from any investigations involving Hillary Clinton. "I have always tried to answer the questions fairly and accurately".
"I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath".
Sessions previously testified at a similar hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October.
"Everything I said to President Trump is exactly what I've vocalized on my show", Pirro said via a Fox News spokesperson.
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