Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today has been chock-full of testy exchanges between the attorney general and members of Congress. Following several hours of questioning, the tension was palpable when it was time for Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) to grill Sessions. And things boiled over by the time Lieu was done.
For several minutes, Lieu — an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump — peppered Sessions with questions about perjury and whether he lied on any security forms or under oath. This led to the California lawmaker bringing up Sessions’ meeting with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election and the attorney general’s previous testimony that he had no Russian contacts during the campaign.
“You did have communications with the Russians last year, isn’t that right? Just yes or no,” Lieu stated.
Sessions responded, “I had a meeting with the Russian ambassador, yes.”
“That’s exactly the opposite answer you gave under oath to the US Senate,” Lieu shot back. “So again either you are lying to the US Senate or you’re lying to the US House of Representatives.”
After being told by the committee chairman that he could respond though time had expired, an incensed Sessions lashed out at Lieu for accusing him of lying:
“I won’t repeat it, Mr. Chairman, but I hope the congressman knows, and I hope all of you know that my answer to that question I did not meet with the Russians was explicitly responding to the shocking suggestion that I as a surrogate was meeting on a continuing basis with Russian officials and the implication was to impact the campaign in some sort of nefarious way. And all I did was meet in my office with the ambassador in which we didn’t discuss anything like that. So I just want to say I appreciate the congressman’s right, I guess he can say free speech, he can’t be sued here. So that’s just my response.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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