Sessions Testimony thoughts

A quick summary: interesting, if empty.

In long form: the reality is, very little was reveled in regards to the Trump campaign, though what was not said, Sessions reactions and a lack of response to a particular issue were of some interest regardless.

Firstly, there was no mention nor question in regards to Sessions response to Comey’s request for space from the president, in light of his private moments with the man, nor any questions regarding Sessions attempted resignation. Whether this was just due tot he senate not focusing on those areas, or a lack of time due to Stalling from Sessions and interruptions from the republicans I cannot say for sure.

Secondly, Sessions was continually rattled and shaken in regards to heated questions from the Democrats, and independent Senator King. This lack of composure showed itself in his retaliations to numerous senators after repeated questions, especially in light of his stonewalling, his refusal to answer questions in regards to Trumps thoughts on Comey and Russia, citing justice department traditions. There’s no question he could have responded regardless of such a tradition, as other Attorney Generals had, but the questions remain unanswered.

Finally, Sessions did mention one important thing: during and after the campaign Trump showed no interest in what Russia may have been doing in regards to the election. In turn much of his team including Sessions gave no credence or attention to the matter. This is a startlingly display of willful ignorance, and as best as I can tell shows Trumps ambivalence to the idea of election manipulation and rigging, so long as he perceives it in a way that benefits him, or doesn’t get in his way.

I can’t say I’m surprised by the lack of disclosure, though the deliberate ignorance to the Russia issue is interesting, and a possible lead out for Trump if he or his team is caught in any issue regarding said manipulation: it happened, but he wasn’t aware of it, I suppose. Wonder what’ll come out next?

 

Citation:
Politico: 5 Takeaways from Sessions testimony

Advertisements

Sessions recuses himself from Investigation

A recent Politico piece made the argument that Attorney General Sessions recused himself from the congressional investigation regarding Russian involvement with the Trump campaign, primarily due to a lack of support from his party. While the administration maintains that he committed no crime, GOP elites, heads of investigation boards, the house freedom caucus and such have insisted that he recuse himself due to the allegations of his communication with the Russian Ambassador. Which he has done.

The article maintains that because of the lack of support, Sessions had little choice but to recuse himself which presents an interesting position. The lack of support can stretch to further repercussions, such as impeachment and resignation (the article also points to this being the reason why Nixon resigned but Clinton did not when beach suffered an impeachment). Can this be applied to further roles and individuals? Like Kushner who was also mentioned to speak with the ambassador in the same meeting, or Bannon, if anything comes up regarding collusion or influence.

Can this be applied to Trump? It would have to be significant and require Trump to isolate himself from the party, but this has happened before it could happen again.

Still currently Sessions is the biggest issue. Stopping any involvement in the congressional investigation is only beneficial towards that end, and if information comes out, which it may or may not; we know nothing about what was discussed, regarding further collusion or illegal acts, he could be forced to resign. What matters now is continuing the pressure on Trump and his ilk, and maintaining the grassroots resistance, using this as further fuel. The more that comes out the more people will be incentivised to fight.

Citation:
Politico: Why Sessions Recused Himself

Attorney General: second verse same as the first

Sessions met with the Russian Ambassador twice during the campaign. And Didn’t disclose them when asked by officials.

Oh for…

Right, fine, what does this mean? Well nothing for now we only know (thanks to the Washington Post) that this even occurred, and that Sessions claimed to not consider them important, and when asked claimed to not remember the details. Like Flynn did, before the recordings, because of course any meetings within the Russian embassy will be recorded, got him fired for not only lying, to officials and the vice-president, but concerns regarding collusion.

Or at least the public and the media considered that, might have just been the embarrassment on Trumps part.

Whelp, see how this goes, and how long it’ll take Trump to lash out.

And he was doing so well.

 

Citation:
Washington Post: Sessions Encountered Russian Ambassador Twice Last Year

Sessions Rescinds Memo regarding Private Prisons

Today, the Attorney General of the United States rescinded a memo. This was not due to a typo, a clerical error or even some form of malfeasance. This is ideological. This is profit based.

This is about Private Prisons.

The former Deputy Attorney General, and stand in for Sessions until he could be nominated, Sally Yates, issued a statement in August 2016 that stated the US governments intention to gradually phase out the usage of Private Prisons for their criminals and eventually cease using them altogether. Sessions feels differently apparently, believing that private prisons are too useful for the future of the nation and criminal justice system.

This could be interpreted in a number of ways, but I’m going to be nice and assume he means that the current number of federal and state prisons lack the capacity for their current load of Prisoners and that level is expected to be maintained. Rather than say, aggressively expanded.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont released a statement that this was a reward for the Private Prison businesses, which had donated massively to Trumps campaign, and indeed immediately after the release of this emo, stocks for two private prison companies, Core Civic and GEO Group, both spiked. Whether this was the intent, I cannot say, but it is clear that Sessions not only believes in the validity of Private prisons in the System, he will encourage their usage regardless of the numerous (and most likely former) investigations into their actions and treatment of prisoners.

 

Citations:
Reuters: U.S reverses Obama-era move to phase out Private Prisons 
Mother Jones: Department of Justice Announced it will start using Private Prisons again
Politico: Justice Department reverses directive