By the time it was New Mexico Democrat Martin Heinrich's turn to question Sessions, he was quick to let the attorney general know that he wasn't in the mood to play any of Sessions' reindeer games.
Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich late Tuesday afternoon, apparently exhausted of Sessions' obfuscation and refusal to answer questions, scorched the Attorney General, reminding him he had raised his right hand and told the Committee he would tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".
Heinrich's questions to Sessions began with the senator asking if President Donald Trump "ever expressed his frustration" after Sessions announced he would recuse himself from the investigation into ties between those close to Trump and Russian Federation during the elections. And yet Sessions recommended President Trump fire the FBI Director because James Comey just wasn't right for the job. Leave your comments below. That's bucket number one.
"You're not answering even though the president hasn't claimed executive privilege and you haven't claimed executive privilege, so what are you claiming?" It is not a legal standard.
"I am not able to invoke executive privilege".
Sessions refused to commit to testifying in the future in closed session to answer these or other questions.
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To which Heinrich interjected: "You're having it both ways". Are they written down at the Department of Justice?
HEINRICH: This is the appropriateness legal standard for not answering congressional inquiries.
"It is my judgment that it would be inappropriate for me to answer any or reveal any private conversations with the president when he has not had the opportunity to review the questions", Sessions claimed. "If it comes to a point where the issue is clear and there's a dispute about it at some point, the president will either assert the privilege or not or some other privilege would be asserted". If I wanted to ask questions about that investigation, I'd ask those of [deputy Attorney General] Rod Rosenstein. There is a special counsel investigation.
"Certainly, the more President Trump opens his mouth and/or his Twitter account, the harder it will be for him and his associates to prevail in a fight over executive privilege - but that won't stop them from invoking it, and from requiring Congress or the courts to sort it out", Vladeck said via email. "Your silence. speaks volumes", he concluded.
HEINRICH: I suspect you have.
Unlike Heinrich, the female senator was reprimanded by the committee chair, Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina.