If I had ever used the excuse to my parents that Trump’s National Security Agency Director (Admiral Michael S. Rogers), Director of National Intelligence (Daniel Coats), or Attorney General (Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions), used for not answering questions posed by the Senate Oversight Committee on Intelligence, (“I don’t feel like it”), I wouldn’t have been able to sit down for a month, if I lived at all. If it weren’t for the spineless GOP bootlicker running the committee they’d all have been slapped just as hard as I would have been only they’d have been slapped with Contempt of Congress citations.
Even more outrageous is the cowardly display by the GOP Old White Men every time Kamala Harris, the United States senator from California, opened her mouth in a high-profile hearing; the old white men freaked out and bullied her into backing off.
Twice in a week, an old white man with a gavel stopped Harris, a woman of African American and Indian heritage, when she demanded that full-time trump sycophant and part-time KKK garden gnome Attorney General Jeff Sessions would evade his lack of reasoning or legal foundation for his refusal to answer questions put to him by members of the committee.
Prompted by Senator John McCain, Committee Chair Richard Burr interrupted Harris, telling her to “allow the witness to answer the question.” It was also Burr who interrupted Harris’s questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a June 7 hearing, when she demanded a yes-or-no answer on whether or not he would grant Special Counsel Robert Mueller full independence in his conduct of his investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Last Tuesday, it was Sessions’s turn on the hot seat, and he did not take kindly to being pressed by Harris, whose line of questioning revealed that the attorney general could not cite the details or origins of a policy he claimed existed in the Justice Department regarding advance protection of a president’s right to shield from public view conversations he had with members of his administration.
As Sessions sought to slow walk and stonewall every question from every member, Harris pressed on, evoking the pathetic whine from AG Sessions, “I’m not to be able to be rushed this fast. It makes me nervous.” Cue the complaint from “You kids get offa my lawn” John Palin McCain, a Committee guest, followed by gavel from wind-up Magilla Gorilla impersonator, Committee Chairman Richard Burr. And this is the Attorney General of the United States? Huckleberry Hound was a more imposing lawman than that little weasel Jeff Sessions.
At both hearings, Harris was the only committee member admonished for trying to hasten the maddeningly slow pace of non-answers from Sessions during their five-minute allowance, even though others had made the same demand.
It shouldn’t be surprising that Harris is the only non-white person on the committee. She is also a woman. But even more dangerous to the Republicans’ Trump witness protection program, she is perhaps the most talented cross-examiner on the panel. And that’s the real burr under Burr and the other Republican’s saddles.
If there was nothing else to be learned from the appearance of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it is that the Trump administration is led by people whose allegiance to the president far exceeds their love of country or respect for the law.
Sessions was the latest administration official to refuse to answer questions from senators about their interactions with the president on topics related to any relationship Trump campaign and transition-team members had with Russian officials or businessmen.
Less than a week before the Sessions hearing, Politico described National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats as having “stonewalled” in their appearance before the same committee “when asked about news reports that Trump asked each of them to downplay or refute the FBI’s probe [of] whether Trump’s associates colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.”
Sessions declared, at one point that, “I am not stonewalling!” and proceeded to stonewall. He not only denied knowledge of any conversations he may have had with President Trump about the Russian interference investigation—one that is accepted by all seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies to have meddled in the 2016 presidential election, he went on to provide the weirdest excuse anyone can recall. Sessions said that in maintaining silence, he was protecting any future invocation of executive privilege the president might assert. This is the biggest bullshit interpretation of executive privilege ever muttered. If Sessions happened to be a Democrat he would’ve been stoned to death in his chair.
Maybe Sessions is simply incompetent—not constitutionally capable of doing his job. He apparently has the second worst memory to Trump himself, not to mention both having an extreme lack of interest in the cyber war launched against the U.S. by our most ardent adversary. Sessions claimed:
- He can’t remember what he discussed in his Senate office with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador/spy recruiter to the United States, back when Sessions was still a senator and a member of the Trump transition team.
- He can’t remember whether he met Kislyak at a small, private reception attended by both men prior to a Trump campaign speech at the Mayflower hotel in April, or assuming that he did, what he might have said to the ambassador.
- Despite serving as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Sessions said he never received a briefing on Russia’s meddling in the election, and never even read the unclassified report on the meddling that was issued jointly by the nation’s intelligence agencies.
- He said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when Senator Al Franken asked him what he would do if he saw evidence corroborating news reports of Trump campaign officials’ contacts with Russian officials, that he hadn’t understood the question.
- That’s why he had answered that he had not had any contacts with such officials—an answer that turned out not to be true and subsequently led to his ostensible recusal from matters pertaining to the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election campaign.
- Despite that recusal, Sessions signed a memo advising Trump to fire then-FBI Director James Comey, which Trump said he did because of Comey’s conduct of the Russia investigation.
- Sessions can’t recall if he knew of any contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian figures.
- He can’t remember the substance of his interactions with former FBI Director James Comey regarding Comey’s stated discomfort with an impromptu one-on-one meetingwith Trump in the Oval Office, which took place after Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence were asked to step out. (This is the meeting at which Comey says Trump asked him to end the FBI’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials.)
That many failures of memory would land anyone else in a test for dementia. With each day that goes by, it’s hard not to conclude that major figures in the Trump administration are deeply invested in continuing a cover-up of discussions that have taken place with regard to the president’s relationship to Russian officials and oligarchs. They appear to care more about this than they do about the Constitution, the integrity of our elections, or the malevolent actions of a foreign adversary in the preservation of the republic.
Whether for incompetency or equivocation or stonewalling, Sessions is unsuitable for the nation’s top cop position, not that anyone else has presented as capable or qualified either. I mean come on, Trump’s son’s wedding planner was just named the head of HUD for New York!
The United States is facing a critical threat to its continued existence as a democratic republic. A ruthless group of wealthy people and generals now have their hands on the levers of power, and all appear to be in the service of robbing the American people of the resources of our nation rather than protecting it.