Democratic Senator Accuses Sessions of ‘Stonewalling,’ He Responds With Force

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the termination of former FBI Director James Comey. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden charged that Sessions engaged in “stonewalling” because he signed a letter advocating for Comey to be fired from his position.

“I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling,” asserted Wyden. “The American people don’t want to hear that answers relevant questions are privileged and off limits. Or that they can’t be provided in public, or that it would be ‘inappropriate’ for witnesses to tell us what they know.”

“We are talking about an attack on our democratic institutions,” he added, “and stonewalling of any kind is unacceptable. And General Sessions has acknowledged that there is no legal basis for this stonewalling.”

“So now to questions,” continued Wyden, “last Thursday I asked former Director Comey about the FBI’s interactions with you, General Sessions, prior to stepping aside from the Russian investigation. Mister Comey said that your continued engagement with the Russian investigation was ‘problematic.’ And he, Mr. Comey, could not discuss it in public.”

“Mr. Comey also said that FBI personally had been calling for you to step aside from the investigation at least two weeks before you finally did so,” he said. “Now in your prepared statement you stated you received only ‘limited information necessary to inform your recusal decision.’ but given Director Comey’s statement, we need to know what that was.”

“Where you aware of any concerns at the FBI or elsewhere in government about your contacts with the Russians,” questioned Wyden, “or any other matters relevant to whether you should step aside from the Russian investigation?”

“Senator Wyden,” Sessions responded assertively. “I am not stonewalling.”

“I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice,” Sessions said. “You don’t walk into any hearing or committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with the president of the United States, who’s entitled to receive confidential communications in your best judgement about a host of issues. And after being accusing of stonewalling for not answering, so I would push back on that.”

“Secondly, Mr. Comey, perhaps he didn’t know,” he added, “but I basically recused myself the day, the first day I got into office, because I never accessed files, I never learned the names of investigators, I never met with them, I never asked for any documentation, the documentation of what little I received was mostly already available in the media and was presented by the senior ethics public responsibility, professional responsibility attorney in the department.”

One thought on “Democratic Senator Accuses Sessions of ‘Stonewalling,’ He Responds With Force

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