Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to play it safe today during his Senate testimony about his role in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. Sessions refused to answer questions while also refusing to officially invoke executive privilege or the fifth amendment, and his most frequent answer was a disingenuous “I don’t recall.” But according to at least one legal expert, Sessions’ effort has backfired on him.
Matthew Miller, an MSNBC Justice and Security Analyst with experience at the Department of Justice, posted the following summation of Jeff Sessions’s testimony after it concluded today: “if Mueller is investigating obstruction, Sessions just earned himself a trip to the grand jury to discuss those convos w/ Trump.” (link). Former FBI Director James Comey essentially confirmed during his own testimony last week that the Special Counsel is in fact investigating Donald Trump for obstruction of justice.
In our view, Jeff Sessions committed two sins today. The first is that he acknowledged key portions of Comey’s testimony, including the fact that Comey was left alone with Trump in the Oval Office, and that Comey subsequently asked not to be left alone with Trump ever again. This establishes Sessions as a material witness in the investigation into Trump’s obstruction. The second is that Sessions refused to answer essential questions today despite having no legal grounds for having done so. That makes it relatively easy for the Special Counsel to justify subpoenaing Sessions.
So it’s not surprising to hear that Jeff Sessions’ performance today is likely to land him in front of a grand jury led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But even as Trump’s allies continue to suggest that he might try to fire Mueller, it’s unlikely that Trump could get away with doing it. Members of Congress have also threatened to simply appoint Mueller as Independent Counsel in order to make him un-fireable. So Trump may not be able to prevent Sessions from landing in front of a grand jury – or prevent himself from landing there as well. Follow Palmer Report on Facebook and Twitter.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report