Sessions Pushes Back Against Republican Calls For Clinton, Comey Special Counsel
Jordan suggested that the Clinton campaign and the DNC broke the law by paying for the infamous “Trump dossier” via Clinton lawyer Marc Elias and not disclosing the true purpose of those funds to the FEC.
"And it sure looks like the FBI was paying the author of that document and it sure looks like a major political party was working with the federal government to then turn an opposition research document - the equivalent of some National Enquirer story - into an intelligence document take that to the FISA Court so they could then get a warrant to spy on President Trump’s campaign."
"That’s what it looks like and I’m asking you, in addition to all the things we know about James Comey in 2016, doesn’t that warrant naming a second special counsel?"
Sessions at first demurred, noting that Comey is no longer the director of the FBI and praising the current director, Chris Wray. But pressed further by Jordan -"He's not here today, Attorney General Sessions, and you are" - Sessions appeared to throw cold water on the immediate need for a special counsel.
"I would say 'looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel," he said sharply. He added that it would be "wrong" to use the powers of the DOJ for political purposes.
"The Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents. That would be wrong."
Asked early in the testimony about his previous public comments that he was not aware of any contacts between Trump campaign associates and the Russians - comments that have since been proven incorrect because Sessions attended a March meeting with George Papadopoulos where the latter said he could arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sessions said that during his confirmation hearing, Papadopoulos’s comments had slipped his memory.
Furthermore, Sessions said on Tuesday he now recalls the meeting with then-candidate Donald Trump and aides where campaign connections to Russia were discussed.
Sessions, addressing the House Judiciary Committee, said he recalled the March 2016 meeting where foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos was present, “But I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting."
Later, Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries pressed Sessions about an interview he did with Lou Dobbs where he criticized Hillary Clinton for telling the FBI she didn’t remember certain details during its investigation of her alleged mishandling of classified information. During the interview, Sessions told Dobbs that conveniently failing to remember could constitute perjury.
Jeffries asked if he believed the intentional failure can constitute as a criminal act?
Sessions said yes.
He later said the implication that he lied by saying he didn't recall those comments was unfair, and harshly rebuked Jeffries, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn.
Most of the most controversial subjects have been well-trod at this point, but Sessions’ testimony has not yet ended. You can watch along below: