aside How Will Jeff Sessions Fare At The June 13, 2017 US Senate Intel Committee Hearing?

Image result for photos of jeff sessions at senate hearing

The republican President Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was the former Senator from Alabama has been scheduled to testify in an open hearing in front of the US Senate Intel Committee this afternoon, on June 13, 2017. He volunteered to to be questioned by his former colleagues who are typically gracious to one of their own. But this time may be the exception as he was forced to recuse himself from any involvement in his Department of Justice’s probe into the Trump-Russian saga because he failed to disclose at least two 2016 meetings with the US Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, when questioned on this during his confirmation hearing.

There’s a NBC new’s source referring to a third meeting with Mr. Sessions and the Russian Ambassador last spring at a Mayflower Hotel VIP reception sponsored by a Russian think tank prior to the then president-elect delivering his first foreign policy speech. There has been a leak indicating that there is intelligence data of a recording where the Russian Ambassador was talking with a third party about his conversation with Mr. Sessions at the reception.

This is the rest of the story…

On June 12, 2017, Carl Hulse of the New York Times penned the following report, “Should Sessions Expect Senatorial Courtesy? Not This Time.”

Excerpts:

 “How the Senate should treat one of its own is always complicated. While they may often disagree on fundamental matters, senators spend time together on the floor, in the gym and at countless hearings, and they often develop amiable and respectful relationships over the many years they coexist. Being a member of the club is usually thought to entitle a senator to a degree of deference when it comes to confirmation for a high-level administration post or an appearance before the Senate in one capacity or another. Consider that Hillary Clinton was confirmed for secretary of state in 2009 on a vote of 94-2.”
Image result for photos of jeff sessions at senate hearing
Jeff Sessions

“But having served in the Senate is not always a guarantee. The most famous example was John Tower, the conservative Texas senator who was rejected as President George Bush’s nominee for defense secretary in 1989 after former colleagues deemed him unfit for the job because of character issues and potential business conflicts. Former senators have had a tough go in more recent years as well. Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, took a beating from his former side of the aisle when he was nominated as defense secretary by Barack Obama in 2013, though he survived to win the job.”

“When Mr. Sessions, an early supporter of Donald J. Trump, was picked to lead the Justice Department, Democrats knew they had little chance to block him, given Senate changes that meant filibusters on nominations could be broken with a simple majority vote. They raised his civil rights record — the Senate rejected his nomination for a federal judgeship in 1986, citing racially charged comments and actions — but focused more on his willingness to challenge Mr. Trump should he exceed his authority. Mr. Sessions promised not to be “a mere rubber stamp” for the president.”

Image result for photos of jeff sessions at senate hearing“If an attorney general is asked to do something that’s plainly unlawful,” he said, “that person would have to resign ultimately before agreeing to execute a policy that the attorney general believes would be unlawful or unconstitutional.”

“It was not obvious at the time, but the question that has drawn Mr. Sessions into trouble was a bit of an offhand one from Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota. He pressed Mr. Sessions on reports of possible communication between the Trump campaign and Russians and asked what he would do as attorney general if those reports were confirmed.”

“Mr. Sessions said he was unaware of such activities. Unprompted, he added that though he was considered a Trump campaign surrogate, he had no communications with the Russians. As it later turned out, he had met at least twice with the Russian ambassador — meetings he said were in his capacity as senator.” (As per the Washington Post, no other senator on his Senate Armed Forces Committee had any meeting, at any time with a Russian official.)

Image result for photos of jeff sessions at senate hearing“Democrats have been incensed since the disclosure, with some calling for his resignation. They will no doubt inquire about the job security of Robert S. Mueller III, who was appointed as special counsel, in light of new accounts that the president is weighing whether to initiate the firing of Mr. Mueller.”

“They also want to know why Mr. Sessions was consulted by President Trump on the firing of James Comey as F.B.I. director if Mr. Sessions had recused himself from the investigation into Russian meddling because of his political ties to the Trump administration.”

“Recommending Director Comey’s firing would seem to be a violation of his recusal, and Attorney General Sessions needs to answer for that,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said Monday.”

“While Mr. Sessions will face aggressive questioning from his former Democratic peers — and perhaps some Republican panel members — he is not without weapons of his own.”

“For one thing, he is a veteran of decades of taking and giving congressional testimony, which gives him a high level of expertise on how to dodge and duck. He also has close ties to Republicans on the committee.”

Image result for photos of jeff sessions at senate hearing“More contentious moments could come if he invokes executive privilege about conversations with the president or claims that information is classified to prevent it from being discussed in public session.”

“Mr. Wyden said Democrats would have little patience for such tactics. “When there are legitimate questions on both sides of the aisle, you can’t say, ‘I don’t feel like talking,’” he said.”

“This may be the toughest congressional crowd Mr. Sessions has faced since he was rejected for the federal bench by the Judiciary Committee in 1986. Mr. Sessions will be returning to the familiarity of a Senate hearing room, but it may not be the warmest of welcomes.”

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