Senator Patrick Leahy (D- VT) put Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the hot seat about his past denials of Russian contacts and the subsequent revelations of such contacts.
Leahy told the AG that he “clearly…concealed [his] own contact with Russian officials” and asked him if he understands why members of the committee believe he gave false testimony.
Sessions insisted again that his answer was correct. As he has previously, the Attorney General claimed that he was taking the question in its proper context and scope.
But Leahy didn’t accept that answer:
“When you did disclose such meetings, you said you did not recall what was said at the meetings. Now, your answer to my question was an emphatic no. It wasn’t ‘I don’t recall.’ You’re a lawyer, I’m a lawyer. You’re, in fact, our nation’s top lawyer. Is there a difference between responding ‘no’ and ‘I do not recall’? Is that legally significant?”
Sessions conceded that there is a difference, and then Leahy asked directly: “Since the 2016 campaign, have you discussed with any Russian-connected officials any of the following: e-mails, Russian interference, sanctions like the Magnitsky Act, or any policies or the positions of the campaign or Trump presidency?”
Sessions said, “I want to be accurate, so I don’t want to have any ambiguity about your questions… I have never had a meeting with any Russian officials to discuss any kind of coordinating campaign efforts.”
Leahy went through the questions one-by-one with Sessions, and he continued to deny such conversations or told Leahy he didn’t recall.
Leahy also asked Sessions if he’s been asked to speak to Robert Mueller’s investigative team. Sessions hesitated before revealing he has not been interviewed yet.
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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