For months, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has endured a public thrashing over nothing.
He transgressed no laws, violated no ethical rules, and colluded with no one. Nonetheless, he was maligned and vilified by the individuals who sought to impugn his integrity and integrity for what now seems, in retrospect, to be nothing more than partisan politics.
Tuesday, it was his turning. Sessions vigorously defended himself at a public hearing and refuted the allegations that he had lied before Congress. He acquitted himself nicely.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va ., set the ugly tone for Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee where reference is began by misrepresenting Sessions testimony at his confirmation hearing in January, selectively reading only part of Sessions testimony and intentionally omitting the full topic and full answer. It was a shameful cheap shot by Warner, driven either by malice or ignorance. Perhaps both.
But Attorney General Jeff Sessions would have none of it. In his own determined but reserved style, Sessions expressed his disdain for what he called scurrilous accusations against him. Too bad the camera was not focused on Warners face. There might have been egg all over it.
It was Sessions confirmation testimony, clearly misunderstood, which formed the basis for the persistent canard that he deluded Congress and perpetrated perjury. It was a ludicrous claim when it was first induced months ago. But that did not stop partisans from perpetuating it and the media from running wild with it.
Of course he had prior meetings with foreign officials. That was his job as a U.S. Senator on the Armed Service Committee. Never mind that numerous Democratic Senators had similar meetings.
So Tuesday, Sessions disabused the accusation at the outset. He recited the full context of the question in which he had been asked about an exchange of information during the campaign between Trumps surrogates and mediators for the Russian government. And then he his original answer 😛 TAGEND
I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.
His simple and indisputable answer seemed to take the air out of his antagonists smear campaign. At least on that issue.
Sessions spelled out what “youve already” explained many times before. That is, he never met as a campaign surrogate with any Russian official. That was the context, he said, and in that context my answer was a fair and proper response to the charge as I understood it. It did not occur to me to go further to other conversations or meetings.
Of course he had prior meetings with foreign officials. That was his task as a U.S. Senator on the Armed Service Committee. Never mind that numerous Democratic Senators had similar meetings.
As for collusion with the Russians? Conference became visibly angry when he proclaimed, I have never met with or had a dialogue with Russians regarding interference with the election. The is recommended that I participated in collusion to hurt this country, which I have served with honor for 35 years, is an appalling and detestable lie.
Indeed, it was.
The Firing Of Comey
Sessions was understandably and prudently cautious when asked about President Trumps decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. To do otherwise would breach the right of the president to receive advice in confidential communications with his Attorney General.
Citing the well-established privilege endorsed by the Supreme court, Sessions declined to reveal his presidential dialogues. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, seemed outraged, if not unschooled, on the principles of executive privilege.
Sessions patiently explained that only the president has the right to invoke executive privilege. He cannot do so until he has had a chance to review the specific conversations sought by the committee. This is always the case. The same criterion was practised in both the Obama and Bush presidencies.
If a witness, like Sessions, declines to answer a question, the committee may then take steps to obligated a answer. At that point, having reviewed the matter, the president may or may not invoke executive privilege. This is the procedure which has been followed ever since the Supreme Court formally recognized the privilege in the 1970 s. Yet, Wyden seemed clueless.
All Sessions could and would say is that he agreed with the memorandum authored by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying that Comey had mishandled the Hillary Clinton email case which formed the basis for the firing of the Director. Comey, told Sessions, had usurped the competence of the Justice Department.
Sessions did fire a broadside at Comey when he all but called him dishonest. The -AG denied Comeys account of a dialogue in which the fired Director witnessed Sessions was silent when Comey expressed concern about meeting alone with President Trump.
Sessions told, He( Comey) doesnt remember this, but I responded to his remark by agreeing that the FBI and DOJ needed to be careful to follow department policy. Which is a southern gentlemans style of calling Comey a liar. He may well be.
The Attorney General reminded Senators that it was Comey who floated the suggestion that Sessions had committed some unidentified wrongdoing, This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I dont appreciate it. Perhaps Comey, the leaker, was watching.
In a including references to Comeys claim that the president attempted to derails the FBIs investigation into Michael Flynn or Russian partnerships with the Trump campaign, Sessions offered a strong defense from his own experience where reference is offered, The President never asked me to do anything unethical or illegal.
In his own quiet but deliberate way, Sessions expressed dislike for the way he has been treated. And he well knows who is responsible.
Politicians and the media, animated by their unabashed disdain and visceral antagonism toward Trump, deliberately twisted and distorted Conferences terms to smear him.
Three decades ago a cabinet policeman tarnished by false accusations asked, Which office do I go to to get my good reputation back?
Sadly, there is no such office.
Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News Anchor and former defense attorney .
Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com