Yesterday, I opined that it was time for Jeff Sessions to go. We have all screamed bloody murder about the Trump administration putting politics and political expediency above the rule of law. But now, it appears that the Democrats may be doing the same thing, giving Jeff Sessions a pass for his illegal, unethical behavior in order to keep him around to prevent Trumpenstein from naming a new Attorney General who can muck around in the Mueller investigation. I’m sorry, but that won’t wash. If he perjured himself, charge him. The rule of law comes first, always.
That having been said, it seems to me that it would behoove us to keep Jeff Sessions testifying in front of congress 24/7 if we can. First of all, it would tie him up, and keep him from enacting any more of his racist, anti constitutional rights agenda, but he just keeps on hopping into a bigger size steam shovel to dig his hole deeper. Besides, it makes for the finest form of cheap entertainment. Today was a shining example.
Lets just touch on a couple of the highlights. Jeff Sessions didn’t just justify his past perjury, he doubled down on it, and even added new greatest hits.” Sessions actually stood by his words, that he had never “knowingly” misled or lied in his testimony to congress. This is like me saying I never “knowingly” got my ex wife pregnant, I thought I was just getting laid. Sessions swore under oath that he had had no contacts with Russian nationals, until it was proven that he had, then it was explained away that it was “only” the Russian Ambassador. Shit, is that all? Come on, give the guy a break willya? It’s not like it was a Russian born clerk at the Starbucks or something, that he’d remember, but a lousy Ambassador?
In his previous testimony, Sessions swore that he had no knowledge of any member of the Trump campaign having any contacts with Russians. Until the photo broke of Trump and Sessions sitting at a conference table with George Papadopoulos, who stated that he had a Russian contact, and that he wanted to set up a clandestine meeting between Trump and Putin before the election. Hypocrisy Spoiler Alert In the days following that revelation, the Trump campaign and the GOP praised Sessions, trumpeting the fact that the news report showed that he emphatically shot down the young staffers offer. What was Sessions response to a question about this blaring inconsistency between his previous testimony and simple fact? That he honestly did not remember even meetint Papadopoulos until the picture and story emerged Really? Here’s some young, wet behind the ears staffer, proposing a meeting that could be construed as collusion with a foreign power, an offer you had to emphatically reject, even though the report indicated that Trump was drooling down his chin at the prospect, but the event was so trivial and unimportant that you never gave it another thought until your memory was goosed by a headline and a photograph? Dude, cop me a break, willya? I clearly remember the time that I had to ground my then 17 year old daughter for lying to me about where she had gone.
But let’s put blatant perjury aside for a moment. Sessions is getting away with something at least as serious, if not more serous every time he testifies. He is obstructing congress by refusing to answer simple, direct questions, and he is not using the fifth amendment to do it. Just a quick history lesson. Back during Watergate, then President Richard Nixon tried to use Executive Privilege to keep aides and staff members from even testifying as to how many spoons of sugar Nixon put in his coffee by invoking Executive Privilege. Months of wrangling ensued, and in the end, most of those questions were judicially required to be answered, including turning over the now infamous Oval Office tapes. But, that’s how Executive Privilege works, the President invokes it to prevent someone from spilling a pot of embarrassing beans.
That’s not what is happening here. Repeatedly, almost every single time Jeff Sessions is asked a question regarding an interaction with Trump, Sessions replies with, “I am unable to, and will not, comment on conversations between myself and the President.” Wrong, wrong, wrong! Jeff Sessions is not the President of the United States, and thank God for that! Jeff Sessions does not have the right to invoke Executive Privilege, that’s Trump’s job, and so far Trump has not attempted to invoke the privilege for a single question asked of anybody. And Sessions is not deferring from answering the question until he determines whether the President wants to invoke the privilege, he is autocratically declaring that he has the right to refuse questions he finds uncomfortable or incriminating. There is a perfectly legal and practical congressional response to this, they can simply hole him in contempt of congress. But since it is Democrats asking these rather pointed questions, and a Republican chair of the committees, Sessions is getting a free pass every goddamn time.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the way that congressional oversight is supposed to work. And with every appearance before a Senate or House committee, Jefferson beauregard Sessions wins the trifecta. First, he perjures himself under oath, a statute felony. Second, he is committing obstruction of justice in refusing to answer legitimately put questions by a congressionsl committee. And third, he guilty of contempt of congress for refusing to answer those questions.Back n the 1970’s, it was a Republican controlled congress that dropped the hammer on a Republican President, by going through the formal process of impeachment, and now we can’t even get a stupid Attorney General to answer a simple question. Ah, those were the good old days, weren’t they?
A note from the author: If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy my e-book, President Evil: A common man looks at Trump and the 2016 GOP primaries.