Rep. Adam Schiff: Congress May Use ‘Litigation’ to ‘Compel’ Jeff Sessions to Answer Questions
In this afternoon’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was reprimanded by Democratic senators for “stonewalling” and refusing to answer certain questions, as he cited long-standing policies of the Department of Justice. This led one Democrat to say Sessions was “impeding” the Russia probe.
In reaction to the hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that Congress might be able to compel answers from Sessions. How? Well, perhaps by threatening him with litigation or a contempt of court charge.
“You’ll have to claim executive privilege or you’re going to have to testify,” Schiff told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, responding to a question about Sessions saying he wasn’t stonewalling. “And we have the means to compel that, and if it’s not done willingly, I think we should compel that.”
After being pressed by Blitzer if he meant they’d hold Sessions in contempt, Schiff noted that Congress would do what was necessary to get answers.
“Well, I think the process would be negotiation with the White House,” the Democratic lawmaker stated. “We’re going to demand answers to this. We’re going to subpoena him to come back, if necessary, and if he doesn’t answer, and we’re not satisfied with the claim of privilege, then we’ll take whatever steps are necessary to compel.”
He added, “That may ultimately result in litigation, but we need to get these answers.”
Blitzer wanted a definitive answer, however, and pushed him some more, leading Schiff to say that Congress would hold Sessions in contempt if he continued to refuse to answer questions, but that they’d also go to the White House to see if he’s invoking executive privilege.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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