Jeff Sessions Testimony

Jeff Sessions will begin testifying soon. I'll be at the jail, but will try to listen on the car radio.
Here's a place to discuss it.

Rod Rosenstein testified this morning and stated only he can fire Mueller. And he would not do so without a good reason. I didn't believe the rumor to begin with-- considering the sources.

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    The fire Mueller (none / 0) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 01:16:08 PM EST
    trial balloon appears to have gone full Hindenburg.  Paul Ryan started by saying this was just a rumor that does not exist...and then stated that Mueller should continue his work because Trump will be vindicated.  Support for the Special Counsel was also registered by Lindsey, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and McCain.

      Collins, when so far as to say that firing Mueller would be "extraordinarily unwise." Which makes me believe that Trump will do it.  Sure, these Republicans will be "troubled," but it is, in my view, not if, but when, Mueller will be gone.  Sessions' testimony may influence the timing.

    This whole thing (none / 0) (#2)
    by Zorba on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 01:25:27 PM EST
    Is getting interesting.
    In a watching a train wreck as it's happening kind of way.
    I don't know how accurate they are, but this site has an interesting and detailed
    take on it all.
    Of course, Dan, I'm sure you have heard of the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."
    Sigh.  😔

    What's going on? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 02:13:08 PM EST
    We are packing out, movers in house. Anybody got some details pleeeeeease

    nothing spectacular (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:19:59 PM EST
    Sessions has had some serious coreography here.  lots and lots of dancing.

    and smirking.  


    sessions (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:27:40 PM EST
    did confirm that comey was left alone in oval office with trump and that comey told sessions that he was worried trump would ask him to do something improper.

    the comey narrative will sink in.


    That (none / 0) (#31)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:35:22 PM EST
    meeting is probably the most cinematic moment of the whole affair. Sessions testimony did nothing to diminish that.

    Sessions had (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:54:19 PM EST
    a bad memory beyond just the barest details and could not testify about more because of that non-existence privilege of not being "improper."

    If this is Trump's effort to somehow (none / 0) (#3)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 01:26:22 PM EST
    intimidate Mueller, I think he doesn't know Mueller at all.

    I think the only thing firing Mueller does is pour gasoline on this dumpster fire and ensure that it keeps burning.

    If I were Rod Rosenstein, I'd be planning on how best to extricate myself from this chaos and salvage as much of my reputation as I could - and given that that window may be closing for Rosenstein sooner than expected, I suspect we may see Rosenstein resign before he is charged with firing Mueller.

    I think he's going to fire Mueller (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 02:19:00 PM EST
    He's nuts!

    And exposure is what Trump fears more than anything. I don't think he's going to be able to stop himself. I say we count the days he was able to withstand Comey's lack of loyalty pledge and add that number to the day Mueller was hired, and we'll get fairly close to when the Donald is going to touch the red hot burner.

    It'a just me, but I think people who suffer from what he does have a cycle to them, nothing rational, just a cycle.


    I honestly don't know what he'll do. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 02:59:20 PM EST
    A rational person certainly wouldn't go there, but we're not dealing with rational people in the White House. From Trump on down, they don't seem to comprehend that firing Mueller would be perceived by an awful lot of Americans, if not an outright majority, as tantamount to a public admission of guilt on their part.

    DT won't stop until he reaches the abyss (none / 0) (#10)
    by Coral on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:07:48 PM EST
    He's in a downward spiral of anger and self-immolation. He will eventually crash and burn, but don't know how many of his minions, Americans, the global community he'll manage to destroy in the process. It's the type of madness many cult leaders exhibit--the intensity makes them mesmerizing. They do the unthinkable and attract followers who lose all sense of reason. Awful to see entire nation engulfed in this horror show.

    Wish GOP leadership, what remains of sane ones, would stand up and put an end to it.

    Pence can enact all the legislation they want.


    ... Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in July 1863. Plunged into a battle by aggressive subordinates on a site not of his own choosing, he became gripped by an almost blind combativeness.

    Gen. Lee immediately went on the offensive, wholly disdainful of the tactical skills of his Union counterpart Gen. George Meade, and heedless to the two key facts that (1) his own army was greatly outnumbered, and (2) Meade's forces held the high ground.

    Lee's decision to launch successive waves of attacks uphill over three horrible days of fighting ultimately cost him one-third of his army, and proved a disaster from which the Confederacy never fully recovered. The rebels never again regained the military initiative.

    To note the question that David Frum posed to the Republicans only ten days ago: "Is this really the hill we're choosing to die on?"



    Speaking of the Confederacy (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 04:50:55 PM EST
    And catching the highlights now

    Stonewall Jackson got nuthin on Stonewall Jefferson Beauregard Sessions

    All I want for Xmas is for Jeff Sessions to show me he can wiggle his ears. You know he can..... (the mean girl just crops up in me when people sit on my face and fart)


    I love Lee as a kid (none / 0) (#27)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:09:58 PM EST
    Wrote all kinds of papers on him. Walked battlefields.

    Trump is nothing like Lee, who(fortunately for the future of the U.S.) made such a prideful mistake at Gettysburg when he knew better.  Aside from that mistake, he was a bane to Union troops, prolonging the Civil War by years.

    Trump has nothing in common with Lee, except for the act of hubris that you note.


    I read the book The Killer Angels before (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 14, 2017 at 10:38:51 AM EST
    Josh was born. Just one day, desperate for something to read and my husband had it...had not read it but had it.

    I was engrossed. It was fascinating. So then I bought Gods and Generals.

    Living in Southern AL ruined it all for me though. I don't want discuss anything abut that war, seems to feed the rebel flag crowd. Makes me sick to my stomach.

    I know it's part of our history. But for me it should stay in history because people do terrible things with it to this day.


    a lot of people share that view (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:14:11 PM EST
    when the removed his statue in New Orleans they did it at night because of death threats.  which seemed odd to me.  would it not be easier to carry out the threats at night?

    but i have heard others say as a historical character he was fascinating.


    Lee has been held up (none / 0) (#34)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 07:01:13 PM EST
    as an Icon.  But, even as a Son of the South,  I have to say he was ultimately a traitor. Other Southern Officers joined the Union when faced with the same issues as Lee.  He just concluded he could not fight against his native Virginia.

    He was the first one to join an African American who had kneeled at the communion rail in church after the War when all the Whites were aghast.  Most important, he surrendered at Appomattox, when many were advocating a prolonged guerilla war.  Lee in essence stopped that from happening.


    Lee was indeed a very formidable adversary. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:26:26 PM EST
    But as mistakes go, the tactical ones he made at Gettysburg were real whoppers. Maybe it was pride and overconfidence on his part which led to them, maybe it was the fact that he was suffering from dysentery and not exactly in peak physical condition, or perhaps most likely, a combination of all three.

    But Gettysburg proved to be the nadir of Lee's generalship and for the Confederacy, it was a mortal wound. The Civil War still had quite some ways to go, of course. But on July 4, 1863, the day when Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia commenced their retreat from Pennsylvania and the Mississippi citadel of Vicksburg also fell out west, its eventual outcome was inevitable.



    It was a series of (none / 0) (#32)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:51:13 PM EST
    uncharacteristic errors and bad luck for the South.  J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry went missing for a few days as they were riding around West Virginia.

    A series of unusual events and just fortunate breaks for the Union.  If you believe in God, one could see a lot of Divine Intervention on behalf of the Union those three days.

    Lee certainly knew better; He had laid behind the sunken road and wiped out the Union forces as they marched across the open field, and as Lee's artillery pounded the union positions below, at Fredericksburg.

    Longstreet told Lee not to send Pickett across that field, but Lee had never lost to the Union before, who were led at that time by inept generals.  When Pickett's shattered division retreated Lee was there to say he was sorry and it was all his fault.  He knew better.

    If Lee had not let pride get ahold of him, if J.E.B. Stuart had done his job and scoped out the Union positions beforehand so Lee did not blunder into a battle position without planning, and if the Union Generals had shown their characteristic cautiousness and ineptness, then Lee would have by-passed Gettysburg and marched on Washington D.C, and basically won the war.

    If Lee had accepted command of the Union troops, as Blair offered him on behalf of Lincoln, then the Civil War would have been much, much shorter

    But as Lincoln said, it appeared that the war would last "until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword."

    I can understand how many see Divine Providence at work.  


    Lee had seriously underestimated Meade. (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 10:20:41 PM EST
    Because Meade was no "Fighting Joe" Hooker, the man he had replaced as commander of the Union Army of the Potomac four days prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. He was instead a modest and cautious general who was not prone to taking uncalculated risks or talking in grandiose terms.

    As Lee's forces spread out throughout southern Pennsylvania south of the Susquehanna River on what was basically a large scale foraging expedition, Meade's plan was to take up a position at Pipe Creek, MD (near Taneytown) to shield Washington and Baltimore, and then intercept Lee as he turned south.

    At the time, because J.E.B. Stuart and the rebel cavalry were busy riding wide around the east flank of the Union army, Lee had absolutely no idea that Meade was even north of the Potomac River. That lack of knowledge proved an auspicious harbinger to the subsequent events which followed.

    Gettysburg was in many respects an accidental battle, and came about because Confederate Gen. Heth's infantry division accidentally collided with Gen. Buford's Union cavalry division -- Meade's advance guard -- just to the west of the town on July 1, 1863.

    Heth advanced, expecting the Yankee cavalry to scatter rather than face an full infantry assault, but Buford staked out a battle line and resisted, causing Heth's division to double back upon itself along the Cumberland Road. Both generals then called for reinforcements, and the battle was quickly joined as two entire Confederate corps answered Heth's plea, while the Union XI Corps moved forward to support Buford.

    While Gen. Meade was naturally cautious, he was also very good at improvisation. Once he got word where the rebels were concentrating, he quickly moved the entire Union Army north to Gettysburg from Pipe Creek in a matter of hours, and occupied the hills just to the immediate south of the town.

    Meanwhile, Lee ordered his entire Army of Northern Virginia to also concentrate at Gettysburg, thinking that he'd avail himself of the opportunity to crush an isolated Union XI Corps that was too far out front for its own good, and not realizing until it was much too late that he actually was about to collide with the entire Federal army.

    After two days of hard fighting on the right and left flanks, with Meade's lines bent back but otherwise showing no signs of breaking, Lee uncharacteristically lost patience and threw caution to the wind. He ordered a massed attack on the Union center, committing his last reserves in Gen. George Pickett's division.

    Unfortunately for him -- or more correctly, the men he ordered to make the attack -- Meade had correctly surmised that Lee was about to hit his center, and had reinforced his lines there accordingly in considerable depth.

    So, rather than hitting a weakened center line and splitting the Army of the Potomac in two as Lee had fully expected, "Pickett's Charge instead marched headlong into a huge Union buzzsaw and was quickly cut to pieces, suffering over 50% casualties in a matter of 45 minutes.

    Gettysburg is one of the most fascinating battles in American history, both as the war's turning point and for the sheer carnage which both armies inflicted upon one another. Over 51,000 men on both sides fell over the course of its three days of fighting.

    While as I noted earlier, Gettysburg represented Lee's low point, I've always felt that Gen. Meade never quite got the credit he deserved for delivering what proved to be a very crippling blow to the Confederate cause.

    In fact, President Lincoln was initially perturbed that Meade had let Lee get away after the failure of Pickett's Charge, perhaps not realizing at the time that the Union Army had been severely mauled as well in the battle as well, losing nearly one-quarter of their own numbers.

    But the Union could replenish those losses fairly rapidly, while the Confederacy could not. Lee's forces at Gettysburg represented the largest army the Confederates ever put into the field in four years of war. One-third of that army was lost in the ensuing battle.

    That's what one man's hubris can do to a cause or country, if not properly curbed. Military history holds a lot of lessons for us, particularly as to how to act (or not act, as the case may be) under pressure and duress.

    Republicans are displaying many of the same characteristics as Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia during the Gettysburg campaign -- namely, a personal disdain for their opponents, overconfidence in their own capabilities, and an appalling lack of concern while treading on unfamiliar ground.  



    Lee was no fool (none / 0) (#42)
    by jondee on Thu Jun 15, 2017 at 09:07:08 PM EST
    he knew the South's only hope was that enough Northerners would get sick to death of all the carnage, as many already were. Of course plenty of the South was also, including a lot of soldiers in the rebel army, who were starting to desert in droves despite the the threat of summary execution. So what if Lee had 'won' at Gettysburg? Then what?
    The Southern harbors were being blockaded, the North had open supply lines; was in the process of taking control of the Mississippi; ninety percent of the industry and spare manpower was in the North..The writing was on the wall for anyone with eyes to see.

    it probably would (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:09:17 PM EST
    as did the firing of Bharara, Yates and Comey.  i think Tracy is right.  to Trump appearing guilty to some is preferable to being found guilty.  as long as he keeps his 35% he is good.  and he probably will.

    it will be interesting to see if, as he comes more and more unglued, someone decides to try to save themselves by flipping.


    I think he (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:52:29 PM EST
    will attempt to fire Mueller but find out that legally he cannot fire him. Then he will either fire Rosenstein which he legally can do and attempt to find another stooge to fire Mueller.

    Then Paul Ryan will issue a statement about it being "troubling" but that Trump is new at this presidenting thing.


    Chairman Richard Burr spoke to the ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 02:06:20 PM EST
    ... gravity of the situation which now confronts Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and urged him to be completely candid in answering questions from members of the committee. While not necessarily hostile in tone, Burr nevertheless sounded like someone whose patience is being very severely tested by his former Republican colleague and other members of the Trump administration. Unfortunately, the Attorney General's sanctimonious opening statement sounds like more of the same.

    Burr (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 02:59:04 PM EST
    has had that tone for a while.

    congratulations! by the way


    Sens. Wyden and Heinrich ... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:04:23 PM EST
    ... certainly aren't mincing words here. Heinrich in particular has openly accused Sessions of impeding the congressional inquiry by not answering senators' questions.

    King to Sessions (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:17:11 PM EST
    did the Russians hack the elecion

    I only know what i read in the paper.

    saying nothing has been shared with him to prove this.  wow.  that right there, that the intel community has not shared any of this definitive intel with him says quite a lot.  as does the fact he has not demanded it being the AG of the US.

    sort of like Trump speaking with Comey 8 times and never mentioning it.

    Ms Harris (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:41:10 PM EST
    is making him "nervous".  

    Yes, all those questions and (none / 0) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 04:46:50 PM EST
    so little time to evade and stonewall. Unlike his  answers to other senators, Sessions became less courtly with the senator from California.  And, as at the hearing with Rod Rosenstein, McCain rudely interrupted Senator Harris, calling for her to permit Sessions to finish his filibustering answer.  But, unlike the last time, Burr reminded McCain that he, the chairman, controls the hearing.

    i see a star (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 04:55:33 PM EST
    rising in the west

    A good competitor (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 05:10:58 PM EST
    for that star (i.e., gaseous body held together by its own gravity) now in the WH....as the protestor's signs shout:

     Twinkle, twinkle little Czar,
                  Putin put you where you are.


    McCain is not a member of the Intelligence (none / 0) (#25)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:01:09 PM EST
    Committe. Why is he participating in these hearings?  It certainly cannot be because he brings something special to the proceedings.

    he seems (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 06:07:18 PM EST
    to be there to run interference on Kamala Harris

    Courtesy (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 08:44:51 PM EST
    because...I forgot.  Because he is on some other important Committee.

    It appears to me that Sessions is (none / 0) (#17)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 03:58:13 PM EST
    attempting to rehabilitate himself with Dear Leader, doing the Dance of Enduring Loyalty, which was a follow-up to his groveling in the Cabinet meeting yesterday.  I guess that's what the deal was with "preserving" the president's right to invoke executive privilege; seemed like an effort to do what Coates and Rogers did, but with a little more plausible flair.

    More nauseating to me is the effort on the part of the Republicans to carry water for Trump.

    I don't know how much more of this confederacy of dunces the republic can bear before this whole thing combusts.

    totally (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 04:23:27 PM EST
    with the groveling and loyalty thing.  it would be pretty easy to believe he really doesnt know much.    more like he is a useful idiot.

    i thought the bit about not knowing anything about the intel sounded almost believable.


    Or, it is the old Ed Meese (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 04:52:46 PM EST
    defense: corruption masquerading as incompetence and ignorance.

    or all three (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 04:55:59 PM EST
    Another (none / 0) (#35)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 07:25:16 PM EST
    SESSIONS: The specific reason, chairman, is a cfr code of federal regulations put out by the Department of Justice. Part of the Department of Justice rules and it says this. I will read from it. 28 cfr 45.2. Unless authorized, no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he had a personal or political relationship with any person involved in the conduct of an investigation that goes on to say for political campaign and it says if you have a close identification with an elected official or candidate arising from service as a principal adviser, you should not participate in an investigation of that campaign. Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, I may have done something wrong. This is the reason I recused myself: I felt I was required to under the rules of the Department of Justice and as a leader of the Department of Justice, I should comply with the rules obviously.
    Obviously, but not that obvious

    SESSIONS: I have a timeline of what occurred. I was sworn in on the 9th, I believe, of February. I then on the 10th had my first meeting to generally discuss this issue where the cfr was not discussed. We had several other meetings and it became clear to me over time that I qualified as a significant, principal adviser-type person to the campaign and it was the appropriate and right thing for me.
    It took some time but he enventually determined the truth about himself, it's just a coincdence that the final determination was made only after his questinable JC testimony was reavealed.

    But not to worry, while he was busy investigating himself he did the right thing by putting himself on double secret probation

    SESSIONS: Probably so. I'm sure that the attorneys in the Department of Justice probably communicated with him. Mr. Chairman, let me say this to you clearly. In effect as a matter of fact, I recused myself that day. I never received any information about the campaign. I thought there was a problem with me being able to serve as attorney general over this issue and I felt I would have to recuse myself and I took the position correctly, I believe, not to involve myself in the campaign in any way and I did not.

    You know (none / 0) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 07:41:43 PM EST
    people are talking about what Sessions did not say or how much he did not answer but I have to say you can get a lot from what he did say. Kamala Harris got him to admit that his meeting with the Russians were part of the campaign not as a senator.

    And that hysterical indignant act was funny. If this weren't such a serious subject I would be laughing my head off at Sessions.


    Why (none / 0) (#38)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jun 13, 2017 at 08:47:27 PM EST
    does McCain even need to ask these questions?
    MCCAIN: Over the last few weeks the administration has characterized your previously undisclosed meetings with Russia ambassador Kislyac as meetings you took in your official capacity as a U.S. Senator and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. As chairman of the that committee, let me ask you a few questions about that. At these meetings did you raise concerns about Russia invasion of Ukraine or annexation of Crimea?

    He had a very specific recollection of the Ukraine discussion but was totally blank on all the other important issues McCain brought up, with a very lame excuse,
    SESSIONS: We may have discussed that. I just don't have a real recall of the meeting. I may, I was not making a report about it to anyone. I just was basically willing to meet and see what he discussed.
    It's not like it was an official meeting as a Senator...oh wait.

    Tuesday (none / 0) (#41)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jun 15, 2017 at 06:32:00 PM EST
    MCCAIN: During that 2016 campaign season, did you have any contacts with any representative, including any American lobbyist or agent of any Russian company within or outside your capacity as a member of congress or a member of the armed services committee?

    SESSIONS: I don't believe so.
     Today,Lobbyist for Russian interests says he attended dinners hosted by Sessions

    An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general's sworn testimony given this week.
    A prevously unknown name(to me)  Richard Burt is/was a player in the DC meets the Russian oligarchs, and in the tRump campaign
    Asked whether Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt's role as a lobbyist for Russian interests - a fact that is disclosed in public records - or had any reason to be confused about the issue, Burt told the Guardian that he did not know.

    Several media reports published before Trump's election in November noted that Burt advised then candidate Trump on his first major foreign policy speech, a role that brought him into contact with Sessions personally.

    Burt, who previously served on the advisory board of Alfa Capital Partners, a private equity fund where Russia's Alfa Bank was an investor and last year was lobbying on behalf of a pipeline company that is now controlled by Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled energy conglomerate, first told Politico in October that he had been invited to two dinners that were hosted by Sessions last summer, at the height of the presidential campaign.

    and for the trifecta
    Burt also serves on the board of Deutsche Bank's closed-end fund group, according to his online biography.