Ses­sions can’t re­call de­tails of meet­ing

Ottawa Citizen - - WORLD -

U. S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions found him­self on the hot seat Tues­day as he ap­peared be­fore the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. Top­ics ranged from the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion to sex ac­cu­sa­tions against an Alabama Se­nate can­di­date.


Ses­sions de­nied he lied or mis­led Congress about con­tacts with Rus­sia by peo­ple in­volved in Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, say­ing he sim­ply for­got about a meet­ing that’s emerged in the probe by Special Coun­sel Robert Mueller.

“I will not ac­cept and re­ject ac­cu­sa­tions that I have ever lied,” Ses­sions told the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Tues­day. “I have al­ways told the truth, and I have an­swered ev­ery ques­tion as I un­der­stood them and to the best of my rec­ol­lec­tion.”

Democrats have ques­tioned the at­tor­ney gen­eral’s cred­i­bil­ity ever since he said in sworn tes­ti­mony at his Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing in Jan­uary that he “wasn’t aware” that any­one in Trump’s cam­paign made con­tact with Rus­sians. Their crit­i­cism deep­ened af­ter Mueller, who is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Rus­sian med­dling in the cam­paign, filed court doc­u­ments last month about a meet­ing Ses­sions at­tended in March 2016.

At the meet­ing, Ge­orge Pa­padopou­los, an un­paid ad­viser, boasted of his Rus­sian con­nec­tions and said he could help ar­range a meet­ing be­tween Trump and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin. “I do now re­call the March 2016 meet­ing at Trump Ho­tel that Mr. Pa­padopou­los at­tended, but I have no clear rec­ol­lec­tion of the de­tails of what he said dur­ing that meet­ing.”


Ses­sions voiced no skep­ti­cism Tues­day of ac­counts by women ac­cus­ing Roy Moore of grop­ing or pur­su­ing ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships with them when they were teens, and hinted the Jus­tice Depart­ment might look into al­le­ga­tions against the be­sieged Repub­li­can Alabama Se­nate can­di­date.

“I have no rea­son to doubt these young women,” Ses­sions said. His words seemed cer­tain to carry heft in Alabama, where he was a long­time GOP sen­a­tor un­til be­com­ing Trump’s at­tor­ney gen­eral this year and re­mains one of that state’s most in­flu­en­tial Repub­li­can voices.


Ses­sions is leav­ing open the pos­si­bil­ity that a special coun­sel could be ap­pointed to look into Clin­ton Foun­da­tion deal­ings and, the Jus­tice Depart­ment said, in re­spond­ing to con­cerns from Repub­li­can law­mak­ers.

Jeff Ses­sions


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