Politics 'I did not recall:' 4 key takeaways from Jeff Sessions's memory lapse-filled congressional hearing

01:01  15 november  2017
01:01  15 november  2017 Source:   MSN

Sessions says Justice panel will fight neighborhood crime

  Sessions says Justice panel will fight neighborhood crime INDIANAPOLIS — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says a new Justice Department panel will help local groups fight neighborhood crime. Sessions announced the creation of the Violent Crime Reduction Coordinating Committee during a meeting Monday in Indianapolis with the Ten Point Coalition. The coalition led by several African-American ministers is known for its neighborhood patrols.Sessions, who is the nation's chief law enforcement officer, says he's "impressed" with the coalition's work and says he believes it can be a model for other cities.

Here are four takeaways from Sessions ' s nearly day-long hearing At the very least, Sessions ' s consistent memory lapses before Congress doesn't help the president's public image. It's fair to ask if Moore — the GOP Senate candidate trying to fill Sessions ' s seat in the Senate — has any friends

Here are four key takeaways But Sessions did corroborate two key parts of Comey’ s testimony Attorney General Jeff Sessions recalls an exchange he had with former FBI director James B. Comey in February about President Trump.

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Meetings he had with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. Campaign related conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. Shutting down campaign aide George Papadopoulos after Papadopoulos suggested then-candidate Trump and Vladimir Putin get together.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he couldn't remember any of these events — that is until the media or Robert S. Mueller III's investigation remembered for him.

That's the key takeaway from Sessions's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. What is typically a routine check-in between Congress and the head of the Justice Department got political real fast, largely because of Russia.

House panel to interview Russian-American lobbyist, Sessions

  House panel to interview Russian-American lobbyist, Sessions The House intelligence committee is preparing to interview a Russian-American lobbyist who attended a meeting last year with President Donald Trump's son as part of its probe into Russian election interference. T he panel is also expected to interview Attorney General Jeff Sessions in coming weeks, according to people familiar with the interviews.The House interview with Rinat Akhmetshin is scheduled for next week, and Sessions' interview is planned for Nov. 30, according to one of the sources. Dates for witnesses have often been pushed later.

Analysis Four key takeaways from Jeff Sessions ’ s memory - lapse - filled congressional hearing . 5. Trump’s Asia trip was mostly free of incidents — until it wasn’t. Opinion Jeff Sessions just offered the Trump team’s latest spin on Russia.

Here are four key takeaways Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeatedly told senators that he didn't remember or "couldn't recall " certain things, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 13 at the Capitol.

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Here are four takeaways from Sessions's nearly day-long hearing:

1. Sessions is not helping clear up questions about Trump campaign's Russian involvement

Here's why Sessions said Tuesday he couldn't remember any of these Russian contacts or conversations: “It was a brilliant campaign in many ways, but it was a form of chaos every day. . . . Sleep was in short supply.”

It's certainly possible Sessions didn't remember any number of Russia connections that have now come to light until they came to light.

But Sessions has also demonstrated that once his memory gets jogged, he can recall details of events, like what he spoke about with the Russian ambassador in two separate meetings, or the fact he told Papadopoulos not to set up a Trump-Putin meeting. Which opened the door to Democrats to ask: Why haven't you gotten your facts straight about Russia by now?

House panel to interview Russian-American lobbyist, Sessions

  House panel to interview Russian-American lobbyist, Sessions The House intelligence committee is preparing to interview a Russian-American lobbyist who attended a meeting last year with President Donald Trump's son as part of its probe into Russian election interference. T he panel is also expected to interview Attorney General Jeff Sessions in coming weeks, according to people familiar with the interviews.The House interview with Rinat Akhmetshin is scheduled for next week, and Sessions' interview is planned for Nov. 30, according to one of the sources. Dates for witnesses have often been pushed later.

Here are four key takeaways Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeatedly told senators that he didn't remember or "couldn't recall " certain things, during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 13 at the Capitol.

Jeff Sessions Congressional Hearing . It’ s all but locked up. Barring some bombshell revelation, Senate Democrats do not have the votes to block him, and they showed little interest in trying to drum up Republican support to do so.

Sessions didn't really have any answer to that other than even if he did misremember these events, he didn't do anything wrong during them. His meetings with the Russian ambassador were legal and normal, he said. He didn't encourage Papadaopulous to meet with Putin; he discouraged it. “I pushed back and said you shouldn't do it,” Sessions recalled. “So I don't think it is right to accuse me of doing something wrong.”

At the very least, Sessions's consistent memory lapses before Congress doesn't help the president's public image. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found 49 percent of Americans think it is likely Trump committed a crime in connection with possible Russia meddling, although more say this view is based on suspicion rather than evidence.

2. Sessions doesn't seem that keen on a special counsel to look into Hillary Clinton affairs

Trump wants one. About two dozen Republican members of Congress want one. Sessions is entertaining the idea of appointing a special counsel to investigate the Clinton Foundation and the sale of a uranium company to Russia and how the FBI exonerated Hillary Clinton on her emails.

New Russia probe details likely to dominate Sessions hearing

  New Russia probe details likely to dominate Sessions hearing Attorney General Jeff Sessions returns to Capitol Hill this week amid growing evidence of contacts between Russians and associates of President Donald Trump, bracing for an onslaught of lawmaker questions about how much he knew of that outreach during last year's White House campaign.The appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday follows a guilty plea from one Trump campaign aide who served on a foreign policy council that Sessions chaired, as well as statements from another adviser who said he'd advised the then-GOP Alabama senator about an upcoming trip to Russia.

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But Sessions himself doesn't seem totally convinced that's necessary.

"'Looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel,” he told Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) after Jordan listed off a number of things he thinks Democrats did during the 2016 campaign that he thought looked fishy, like the Clinton campaign paying for research that ultimately led to a controversial, unproven dossier alleging Trump wrongdoing in Russia.

“It would take a factual basis that meets the standards of a special counsel,” Sessions replied.

So what's that standard? According to The Post's Matt Zapotosky: A special counsel can be appointed when the Justice Department or a U.S. attorney’s office has a conflict of interest, when there are other “extraordinary circumstances,” or when it would otherwise be “in the public interest” to do so, according to the federal regulation governing such appointments.

3. Sessions sides with Roy Moore's accusers

It's fair to ask if Moore — the GOP Senate candidate trying to fill Sessions's seat in the Senate — has any friends in Washington right now besides Stephen K. Bannon. Sessions is definitely not one of them.

Sessions facing Congress amid new Russia probe details

  Sessions facing Congress amid new Russia probe details Attorney General Jeff Sessions returns to Capitol Hill on Tuesday amid growing evidence of contacts between Russians and associates of President Donald Trump. And he will be bracing for an onslaught of lawmakers' questions about how much he knew of that outreach during last year's White House campaign.The appearance before the House Judiciary Committee follows a guilty plea from one Trump campaign aide who served on a foreign policy advisory council that Sessions chaired, as well as statements from another adviser who said he'd advised the then-GOP Alabama senator about an upcoming trip to Russia.

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“I have no reason to doubt these young women,” Sessions said when asked if he believes Moore's five accusers that he tried to have romantic or sexual relationships with them when he was twice their age.

Other Republicans, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have ditched Moore. But the McConnells of the world could arguably boost Moore's appeal in Alabama.

But Sessions is different. He had represented Alabama in the Senate for nearly 20 years before becoming Trump's attorney general. He is one of the most well-known politicians in the state. Does his ditching of Moore change the dynamic of the race? We'll find out in less than a month.

4. Sessions is suspicious of WikiLeaks

It now appears that Donald Trump Jr. communicated with WikiLeaks, the organization that published Democratic emails that were allegedly hacked by Russians. The Atlantic reported, and Trump Jr. confirmed, that he exchanged Twitter messages with WikiLeaks during the campaign.

Sessions indicated that if he were Trump Jr., he probably wouldn't have been so trusting of WikiLeaks.

Sessions jokes in speech to conservative group: 'Anybody been to Russia?' .
Attorney General Jeff Sessions joked about connections to Russia before speaking at the Federalist Society convention."Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?" Sessions asked. "Is Ambassador Kislyak in the room?" Sessions asked. "Before I get started here.

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