A bombshell Washington Post report exposed Republican Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for lying to the Senate during his confirmation hearings about his meetings with the Russian Ambassador. Now, Senator Al Franken (D-MN.) is calling him out.
When Sessions’ former Republican colleague, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) attempted to cover for the lying Sessions, Franken shut him down, hard.
“If I was going to ask you a gotcha question, I was gonna tell you about it ahead of time,” whined Grassley, “And I consider what Senator Franken asked Senator Sessions at that late moment a ‘gotcha question.'”
“It was NOT a gotcha question, sir,” was Franken’s perfectly icy reply.
The exchange was captured on CSPAN this afternoon during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to confirm Deputy Associate Attorney Generals.
As you can see from the video below, Senator Franken had a lot more to say about his frustrations with the dishonest man who couldn’t get confirmed as a district judge, but now stands atop all of America’s law enforcement:
The purpose of a confirmation hearing is to allow the American people to decide for themselves through our exchanges here in the committee, if the nominee is qualified to serve. But in order for the hearing to truly serve that purpose, nominees must answer questions honestly, that’s why they swear an oath
But eight weeks ago, my question was not answered honestly.
I must have just taken it for granted, that witnesses understand their obligation to correct their testimony, but that obligation must have escaped Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.
Sen. Franken also lamented the great length of time between AG Sessions’ testimony that passed, without him correcting his testimony – which anyone has an obligation to do if they later find that they failed to tell the whole truth to Congress in sworn proceedings.
Attorney General Sessions did not acknowledge the fact that his testimony misrepresented the truth until the Washington Post published an article exposing his meetings with the Russian Ambassador. In the seven weeks – Seven Weeks – between his appearance in front of this committee and the publication of that article, Attorney General Sessions had ample opportunity to correct the record, but that’s not what he did.
After an embarrassing story in The Post meeting with the very same official that forced the National Security Advisor to resign, Attorney General Sessions hastily called a press conference and announced that he would recuse himself from overseeing any Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the election.
America’s law enforcement community must be embarrassed to be led by a liar and a racist like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, who imported Russia’s lobbyists into the campaign as National Security chairman and linked candidate Trump up with dead-eyed, power tripping aide Stephen Miller.
Senator Franken is right; sworn confirmation hearings provide Americans with the factual information our representatives need in their only chance to evaluate high officials before they’re confirmed to high offices by a vote.
Considering that Attorney General Sessions only won 52 confirmation votes to take office, how many of those Senators might have voted against his confirmation knowing that he’d been meeting with Russia’s Ambassador?
Watch Senator Franken lament the Republican Attorney General’s lies under oath here:
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition