Sessions sequel falls flat following Comey drama
© Greg Nash

Let me first begin by stating that a very important and crucial question was never asked on Tuesday when Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsIntel leaders: Collusion still open part of investigation Republicans jockey for position on immigration Biden to Alabama: No more extremist senators MORE appeared before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.

It seems unbelievable that not one of the 15 senators present asked Sessions whether he had offered to resign his position.

There have been numerous reports that Sessions had done just that. 

If he had, wouldn't the senators like to know that? If it is actually true, when did he make the offer? 

What were the reasons?

What did the President say if the offer was made?

All these answers we will never know because the senators of both parties failed to ask this critical question.

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And what about Sessions’ answer when asked if he had seen Russian collusion in the Trump presidential campaign, would he have left the campaign. 

 

Sessions said, "Maybe."

"Maybe," that was Sessions answer.

Does that not go to the very heart of the entire investigation?

When prompted and asked again, Sessions changed his response to "yes."

But he needed to be prompted. 

And why did he need to be prompted?

Why wasn't his first and immediate reaction an emphatic, "Of course I would."

After the hearing, I asked Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE (R-Fla.) about Sessions' "maybe" response and he said, "Oh, that's the way Sessions talks."

The Rubio reaction doesn't make sense and excuses Sessions for his lame answer. Sessions frequently evaded prodding questions, with phrases such as "I'm not able to comment on that." "I'm not able to discuss." I cannot answer that." "I don't recall that."

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) asked a very pertinent question. He was at the end of the dais and was the last Democrat to participate.

He justifiably asked whether Sessions felt "misled." Reed also asked Sessions if he had "any inkling" of the Comey firing.

Then Reed suggested that the letter Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote and Sessions agreed to concerning the Comey firing was "a cover story" that President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE soon after "completely abandoned."

Vice-Chairman Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerTrump: Why isn't Senate looking into 'Fake News Networks'? 5 takeaways from Senate Russian meddling presser Trump: 'America is truly a nation in mourning' MORE (D-Va.) in a closing statement emphasized the view that Trump has never realized or stated "the seriousness of this threat" (Russian interference in the election).

Moreover he has mistakenly called it a "witch hunt and fake news."

Overall, the prevailing position of Sessions was, I did nothing wrong and why are you going after me. He was testy and defensive.

I believe that Sessions did not collude with the Russians during the Presidential campaign. But that does not answer the question asked by Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: EPA aims to work more closely with industry Overnight Finance: Lawmakers grill Equifax chief over hack | Wells Fargo CEO defends bank's progress | Trump jokes Puerto Rico threw budget 'out of whack' | Mortgage tax fight tests industry clout Lawmakers try again on miners’ pension bill MORE (D-W.Va) Manchin wanted to know if Paul Manafort, Stephen Bannon, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Scott Lewandowski were colluding and "manipulating" the campaign.

Manchin also mentioned Steve Miller in that roster of names. Miller was a former staffer of Sessions when he was in the Senate. A follow up by Manchin should have been "Have you asked your former aide about these charges of Russian collusion."

One final and unrelated note. 

When Sessions walked into the hearing room he was greeted by Luther Strange. Strange was appointed by then Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley when Sessions vacated his seat.

Strange is by far the tallest person ever to serve in the U.S. Senate. He is 6' 11". We were, at the very end of the hearing, told by Sessions that Strange played basketball at Tulane.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the Chair of the Committee has been presiding over the hearings with a soft touch. He gently reprimanded Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) by telling "her time has expired" and more firmly admonished Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts The VA's woes cannot be pinned on any singular administration Overnight Defense: Mattis offers support for Iran deal | McCain blocks nominees over Afghanistan strategy | Trump, Tillerson spilt raises new questions about N. Korea policy MORE (R-Ariz.) by informing him that "the Chair" will be in charge of the proceedings.

For now, everyone will have to await Robert Mueller's findings and report. Mueller’s investigation is now focused on whether Trump obstructed justice

The special counsel, if he is allowed to remain, will provide the definitive and conclusive answer to that all important questions.

One final, final note: Sessions was a Richard M. Nixon elector in the year 1972 at the tender age of 25 years old.

Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The  Georgetowner. Previously, he was the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington's NPR affiliate, where he co-hosted the "D.C. Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He later became the political analyst for WTOP-FM, Washington's all-news radio station, where he hosted "The Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.


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