AG Sessions Testifies, Denies Lying About Russia

Attorney General Jefferson Sessions testified before Congress today about Donald Trump's campaign and Russia. He denied lying to Congress. He just has a bad memory. (Warning: auto-play video, shame on the NY Times.)
“I have always told the truth,” Mr. Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee, adding that he stood by his previous testimony because “I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports.”
In October, he claimed to be unaware of anyone in the campaign who had contacts with Russians. He also said, “And I don’t believe it happened,” he said then. [More...]

Court documents in the special counsel investigation have since shown that Mr. Sessions led a round-table last year in which a campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, discussed his Russian ties and suggested setting up a meeting between Mr. Trump and Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president.

Mr. Sessions said he now remembers the round-table discussion and that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but, he said, “I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said.” Mr. Sessions seemed more certain about his own response to Mr. Papadopoulos: “I pushed back against his suggestion.”

Sessions also seemed to push back on the likelihood that a special counsel would be appointed to investigate the Clinton Foundation.
When Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, said it looked like there was already enough evidence to investigate, Mr. Sessions responded: “‘Looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.”

It also sounds like Session is hedging his bets with respect to Roy Moore. He testified today he had no reason to doubt the young women. What's in it for him if Moore falls to Doug Jones? There's speculation that he would step down from DOJ and the Governor of Alabama would find Moore unfit to serve and appoint Sessions to the seat.

Doug Jones would be an asset for Alabama and for the Senate. I knew him years ago when he was a defense lawyer, before he left for the U.S. Attorney's office. He's smart, ethical, compassionate and will stick up for the underdog.

If Jones wins and the Republicans don't pull a dirty trick to keep him from taking office, the Republicans would only have a one seat majority in the Senate.

Update: A new article from the Times on Republican options regarding Moore.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Constitution and Seating Moore (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Michael Masinter on Tue Nov 14, 2017 at 07:59:05 PM EST
    If Moore wins, the Senate must seat him per Powell v. McCormack because its power is limited to determining whether he satisfies the constitutional qualifications (e.g. age) for office.  It can thereafter expel him, but only by a 2/3 vote, a margin that can be achieved only by democratic support.  

    Democrats reasonably might refuse to vote to expel on the basis that Alabama voters knew who they were electing.  Besides, expelling Moore would only open the door to a republican replacement, while keeping him in the Senate would serve as a constant reminder of what Republicans stand for.

    We can hope Doug Jones wins, but if Moore wins, let him have as much rope as he wants.  

    on what charge? (none / 0) (#2)
    by linea on Tue Nov 14, 2017 at 09:23:50 PM EST
    i don't believe the senate can simply vote to expell a member without a charge. of the fourteen people who have been expelled one person was charged with Anti-Spanish conspiracy; treason and the others were charged with Support for Confederate rebellion.

    perhaps they could vote for a Censure after an investigation.


    Open Question (none / 0) (#3)
    by Michael Masinter on Tue Nov 14, 2017 at 10:08:24 PM EST
    I think the questions of whether the Senate needs to specify a charge beyond unfitness, and whether the answer to that question is justiciable or is a political question committed to the Senate for resolution are both open. My guess based on Nixon v. U.S. (the former judge, not the former president) is that the question is not justiciable, but it's only a guess.

    Best description of Sessions this morning (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 05:47:56 AM EST
    So far: Rolling disclosures.

    all true (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 06:25:56 AM EST
    there was IMO a tiny silver lining.  he really did not seem to take Jim Jordon and his frothing about a second special counsel very seriously at all.

    i do not think there will be a Clinton special counsel.


    Not under this AG (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 06:54:23 AM EST
    Shelby says he speaks with Sessions often and said Alabama voters should write in Sessions in the special election.

    Sessions is such a weasel.....who does seem to have a kind of deference for the rule of law even if many of his interpretations seem sketchy to me. Working for Trump does seem to be painful for him at times during that hearing. If he was a write in winner how would they handle that?


    I love that idea (none / 0) (#11)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 05:37:50 PM EST
    Jones is close enough in the polls, that if any substantial number of R's write in Sessions, while the hard-core fundies vote for Moore, Jones will win. The write-in campaign sounds like a great idea to me.

    I'm starting to hope (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 06:31:53 PM EST
    He wins.

    That would be a massive sh!t sandwich for the republicans.

    In spite of what they say it would be a mess not easily resolved.  

    It's been said he could take them to court especially because the voters knew everything before election day

    The Secretary of state said if the party pulls its support the election would be void. Another lawyer said it would not.  It would just mean the second place guy, presumably Jones, would win.

    I would love to go into the midterms with senator Moore front and center.


    Btw (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 06:45:32 PM EST
    If the democrat wins by some miracle he will almost certainty only lose very soon to another republican.

    Are they not running (none / 0) (#14)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 08:04:45 PM EST
    for the usual six-year term?

    No (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 08:20:14 PM EST
    At least I heard it said it's a special election that is only for the rest of Sessions term.

    Here (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 08:21:58 PM EST
    A special election for the United States Senate in Alabama is scheduled for December 12, 2017, to choose former Senator Jeff Sessions's successor for the term through January 3, 2021.

    So, a little over three years (none / 0) (#20)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 16, 2017 at 08:31:39 AM EST
    That's good enough for me to take the Republican majority down by one.

    Might not (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 18, 2017 at 01:50:47 PM EST
    lose in 2020 depending on who is running for the GOP.

    I'm tired of eating $hit with these crazy people (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 08:20:51 PM EST
    I need Jones to win just so I don't go to my grave trying to pi$$ on the grave Alabama will already be in.

    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 08:34:38 PM EST
    The fact I, and no doubt many others, am starting to hope he wins is almost certainly the final nail in his electoral coffin

    I think Jones will win (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 08:23:07 PM EST
    But I still think for us it's a win win either way.

    As a human being first (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CST on Thu Nov 16, 2017 at 11:35:49 AM EST
    and a Democrat way after that - I won't consider it a win if Moore wins.

    I'm weak (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 16, 2017 at 12:16:36 PM EST
    ...and backslidin'.

    Moore's Rosa Parks tweet seems (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 08:54:45 AM EST
    To suggest to me he got some internal polling he didn't like. The staunchest members of his base would like Alabama schools softly resegregated again.He seems to be trying to attract undecided voters.

    BUT ME personally? Moore will win by a larger margin than polling shows because there are piles of polluted souls in Bama who are not going to admit out loud how they really want their world to work.


    His comeback to Jordan's long and (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 07:28:20 AM EST
    fevered diatribe was perfect: "looks like" is not enough for a special counsel.  

    But Jordan's laundry list of Clinton/Mueller transgressions is as good an indication of what the GOP's priorities are, and Russian meddling in the election seems to be way down on the list.

    Not to mention some of the other things raised by Republicans.

    Although I have to say that I find the stealth insertion of the repeal of the individual mandate into the tax bill of more concern.  I'm hoping that this will be a bridge too far for enough Republicans to tank the bill.


    Sneaky bastards (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 11:43:34 AM EST
    How much do they want it?
    How much do the NEED it?

    I got my story and I'm stickin to it.
    They will fu@k this up.

    They might get some measly tax fig leaf,
    But, no......


    This will not float (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 12:12:58 PM EST
    They are dismembering their own base with a hacksaw.

    I don't understand. Paul Ryan is speaker because nobody else wants the job, not because his policies are popular. I guess they forgot.


    Especially (none / 0) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 15, 2017 at 09:40:49 AM EST
    not after Shep Smith blew it all up for Faux Viewers.