Democrats on Committee on the Judiciary Failed to Adequately Vet Jeff Sessions

Based on all of the current brouhaha in the mainstream press about the two meetings of Sen. Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak it is clear that the Democrats on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary failed to adequately vet Sen. Sessions.

In more than 10 hours of testimony [1] [2] and a questionnaire of more than 700 questions [3], they failed to ask the simple question:

“Senator Sessions, what contact have you had with Russian emissaries since President Elect Trump announced his intention to run on June 16th, 2015?”

Instead Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) posed the following written question [4]:

“Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?”

To which Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Al.) answered without any ambiguity:

“No”

And Sen. Al Franken (D -Mn.) asked, in the hearing:

“CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week that included information that quote, ‘Russian operatives claimed to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.’ These documents also allegedly say quote, ‘There was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump’s surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.’

“Now, again, I’m telling you this as it’s coming out, so you know. But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”

To which Sen. Sessions answered:

“Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”

If he had been a little more explicit and replied:

“Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t, in my role as a surrogate  —  I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”

Then the issue of his meetings, in his role as a Republican Senator, with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, at the RNC convention and in his Senate office would be moot.

It is clear that the subject of the reply was “those activities” e.g. “evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the  Russian government in the course of this campaign

Google give “undergoing the specified process” as the definition of “in the course of”

Thus the allegation that Sen. Sessions perjured himself, lied, or mislead congress are patently ridiculous, in my opinion.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s