Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in the hot seat Tuesday when Democratic lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee finally get to grill him about three people: former Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, and current White House advisor Stephen Miller.
All three men have made headlines in the past several weeks for revelations of either having or knowing about Russian connections during the Trump campaign that indicate Sessions lied under oath. As we know, Sessions has repeatedly claimed to be unaware of any liaisons between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives. That claim was blown to bits when the Papadopoulos guilty plea was unsealed several weeks ago, followed by Page telling the House Intelligence panel last week that he informed Sessions of his July 2016 trip to Russia, where he met with Russian government officials.
Sessions was also clearly pictured in a now-infamous photo of a March 31, 2016, Trump campaign national security meeting where Papadopoulos informed the group he had ties to Russians who were interested in setting up a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin.
And just this week, news came that former Sessions-spokesperson-turned-White-House-aide Stephen Miller was the unnamed Trump “senior policy adviser” who Papadopoulos emailed the day after he learned Russia had “thousands of emails” that included “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.
“Have some interesting messages coming in from Moscow about a trip when the time is right,” he wrote, the [special counsel] court filings say.
Sessions was particularly close to Miller, who joined his Senate office in 2009 and worked assiduously to block any effort at passing immigration reform through Congress. In the White House, Miller was one of the principal authors of Trump’s disastrous Muslim ban.
Just last month, Sessions again told the Senate Judiciary panel he had no knowledge of contacts between the Trump camp and the Russians.
“I did not, and I’m not aware of anyone else that did,” Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I don’t believe that happened.”
That repeated claim will provide a fertile area of inquiry lawmakers. But you can also expect to see a Jekyll-Hyde hearing. As Democrats grill Sessions about his under-oath claims that have clearly been exposed as lies, House Republicans will certainly fixate on their latest fake investigation into Hillary Clinton, questions which Sessions will gladly field.
Monday night, news dropped that Sessions is weighing appointing a special counsel to investigate Trump’s fantasy claim that the Obama-era Uranium One deal was criminal.
The revelation came in a response from the Justice Department to an inquiry from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.), who in July and again in September called for Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to investigate concerns he had related to the 2016 election and its aftermath.
Isn’t that convenient—the night before Sessions will face a host of sticky questions about the parade of lies he’s told. Fox News must be breathing a sigh of relief. Now, they’ll have something to cover.