Sessions’ Testimony: Collusion or Conspiracy Theory?
June 14, 2017 by C. Mitchell Shaw
Whereas ousted FBI Director Comey’s testimony last week before the Senate Intelligence Committee contained unsettling revelations, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before that body Tuesday could be described as containing settling denials.
Sessions denied misleading — or outright lying — to the Senate during his confirmation hearing, denied having clandestine meetings with Russians, denied that his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation was because he thought he might be under investigation, and denied collusion of any type. In fact, as his exchange with Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) showed, those allegations are completely ridiculous.
About two-thirds through the hearing — after having repeatedly answered many of the same questions about all of this — Sessions was questioned by Cotton. Cotton seized the moment to illustrate just how insane this whole tributary of the investigation is by asserting that it would flop as the plot for a “fantastical” spy novel or movie. He began his time by saying:
A very simple question that should be asked is: “Did Donald Trump or any of his associates in the campaign collude with Russia in hacking those e-mails and releasing them to the public?” That’s where we started six months ago. We have now heard from six of the eight Democrats on this committee. And to my knowledge, I don’t think a single one of them asked that question. They have gone down lots of other rabbit trails but not that question. Maybe that is because Jim Comey said last week, as he said to Donald Trump on three times — he assured him he was not under investigation. Maybe it’s because multiple Democrats on this committee have stated they have seen no evidence thus far after six months of our investigation and ten months or 11 months of an FBI investigation of any such collusion. I would suggest, “What do we think happened at the Mayflower [Hotel]?”
Senator Cotton makes a good point: If six months of congressional investigation and 11 months of an open FBI investigation have not produced any evidence of collusion, there isn’t any to be found.
After asserting that investigation was fairly far out in the weeds, Cotton posed his first question to Sessions. He asked, “Mr. Sessions, are you familiar with what spies call trade craft?” Sessions answered that he was “a little bit” familiar with it. Then Cotton asked, “That involves things like covert communications and dead drops and brush passes, right?” Sessions agreed that that’s “part of of it.”
Cotton’s next questions probably had more than a few people shaking their heads at first. He asked if Sessions enjoyed spy fiction and listed a few authors. Sessions admitted that he did. Cotton asked if Sessions liked “Jason Bourne or James Bond movies.” Sessions, laughing, said “No,” quickly adding, “Yes, I do.”
That’s when Cotton asked the question that called into question the sanity of those who believe there is anything to the question Sessions colluded with Russian officials. While he did not exactly call those people — many of them seated around him — conspiracy kooks, he left little room for them to be anything else. He asked, “Have you ever ever in any of these fantastical situations heard of a plot line so ridiculous that a sitting United States senator and an ambassador of a foreign government colluded at an open setting with hundreds of other people to pull off the greatest caper in the history of espionage?”
Thank you for saying that, Senator Cotton. It’s just like Through the Looking Glass. I mean, what is this? I explained how in good faith I said I had not met with Russians — because they were suggesting I, as a surrogate, had been meeting continuously with Russians. I said I didn’t meet with them and now, the next thing you know, I’m accused of — some reception — plotting some sort of influence campaign for the American election. It’s just beyond my capability to understand, and I really appreciate, Mr. Chairman, the opportunity to at least to be able to say publicly I didn’t participate in that and know nothing about it.
Of course, that settling denial offered by Sessions was promptly ignored by both the Democrat members of the committee and the liberal mainstream media.
That it was ignored by the Democrat members of the committee is made clear by the fact that the very next person to question Sessions was Senator Kamala Harris, who continued to probe deeply into that very conspiracy theory. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who votes more like a Democrat than like the Republican he is supposed to be — also picked up that same line of questioning. That it was ignored by the liberal mainstream media can easily be seen by perusing the headlines of their “reporting” on the hearing.
It appears that — as per usual — the Left (both in office and media) are not going to let a few pesky facts get in the way of a bad narrative. This leaves America a long way from achieving the goals expressed by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) in his opening remarks:
As I’ve said previously, we will establish the facts, separate from rampant speculation, and lay them out for the American people to make their own judgment. Only then will we as a nation be able to put this episode to rest and look to the future. I’m hopeful that members will focus their questions today on the Russia investigation and not squander the opportunity by taking political or partisan shots.
Because, as long as the Left continues to tout insane conspiracy theories in the face of evidence to the contrary, “we as a nation” are nowhere close to a place where we can “put this episode to rest and look to the future.”
June 13, 2017: Sen. Cotton’s Q&A with Attorney General Sessions at Senate Intel Committee Hearing