Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ introductory remarks before the U.S. Senate Tuesday shot down each Deep State accusation against him one by one. His passionate performance in the first moments of his testimony may go down as a new “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” moment recalling Joseph Welch standing up to Joe McCarthy during the height of the Red Scare.
“I did not have any private meetings” with the Russians, Sessions said under oath, completely shooting down the theory that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel, beyond his meeting with the ambassador in his Senate office and a brief interaction at a reception at the Republican National Convention that was co-sponsored by the Obama State Department and the Heritage Foundation.
“I understand he was there,” Sessions said of the ambassador, who was present at Trump’s first major foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel. Did Sessions meet with the ambassador there? “I did not.”
“I attended a reception with my staff that included two dozen people including President Trump,” Sessions said of the banal interaction Sessions had with the ambassador at the convention in Cleveland.
“I have no knowledge of any such conversations with anyone connected to the Trump campaign,” Sessions said.
The most powerful moment of Sessions’ opening statement came when he railed that to accuse him of trying to “hurt this country, which I have served with honor for 35 years,” is an “appalling and detestable lie.”
Sessions said that while he recused himself from any Russia investigations pertaining to the campaign, “I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false accusations.”
“These false attacks, these innuendos, these leaks, will not intimidate me. In fact, these attacks have only strengthened my resolve…”
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner seemed deflated after Sessions’ remarks, telling him that he hopes Sessions will come back time and again to testify. Sessions schooled Warner on Senate procedures, saying he will come back as necessary but it’s not good practice to drag Cabinet officials back to the Senate to testify over and over again.
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