The California Democrat demanded that the attorney general specify what Justice Department policy prevented him from answering questions about his conversations with President Trump concerning the investigation into Russian involvement in the USA presidential election. No Democrat chose to question the attorney general about such issues at Tuesday's hearing.
This one simply underscored the fact that Sessions' answers so far made it look like he'd come for the hearing unprepared.
"Let me state this clearly: I have never met with or had any conversations with Russians or any foreign officials concerning any ... interference with any campaign or election", Sessions, a former USA senator from Alabama, said in his opening statement to the Senate committee. "I was your colleague in this body for 20 years, and the suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie".
Last week, at the hearing of former FBI Director James Comey, panel Chairman Richard Burr had admonished Harris.
Lawmakers on Tuesday questioned Sessions about his role in the Trump campaign, his reasons for recusing himself as attorney general from any federal investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government; and whether he violated the recusal by publicly supporting Comey's firing last month.
Under a barrage of questions from Democratic senators, Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied any significant contact with Russian officials during the election, denied that his decision to fire FBI director James Comey had anything to do with the FBI investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and even denied knowledge of the USA intelligence community's pre-election finding that Russia interfered in the election. Again, I'm telling you this as it's coming out, so, you know. "I'm not sure what was in his mind specifically".
He also declined to say if Trump opposed Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe in March, and whether Justice Department officials discussed possible presidential pardons of individuals being looked at in the probe.
I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling.
During the hearing, Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation. "I have confidence in Mr. Mueller", he said.
MSNBC reported that Richman also said Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading an investigation into Russian links with the Trump campaign during the 2016 United States presidential elections, has been in touch with the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss how the panel can get access to the memos. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice", he said.
"Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong".
Congressman Francis Rooney is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Things got intense between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Sen.
Sessions showed flashes of anger rarely seen from the 70-year-old Alabamian, calling any suggestion that he colluded with Russian Federation to interfere in the US presidential election a "detestable lie".
"My understanding is you took an oath, you raised your right hand here today, and you said you would solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth", Heinrich said. Now you're not answering questions.
"You're big, you're strong", said Sen. In one note, Comey says Trump cleared the room before encouraging Comey to end an investigation into Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Some of the most heated exchanges were over his refusal to talk, even though Trump has not invoked executive privilege.
"With no evidence of collusion, wrongdoing, or obstruction of justice by President Trump or the White House, how much longer is this going to go on", said Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, praising Sessions's "honesty and professionalism".
Heinrich told Sessions he was "obstructing" the congressional Russian Federation investigation by not answering questions, saying his silence "speaks volumes".
He added that Comey, after being uncomfortable with the airplane meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, "stepped up and done what his duty is, I think".