Sessions dances around Cohen, Rosenstein questions

29 April, 2018, 21:43 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Attorney General Sessions Won't Say If He Would Resign in Protest If Trump Fired Mueller or Rosenstein

Rosenstein, as the No. 2 official at the Justice Department, is responsible for coordinating and resolving any conflicts between the Mueller probe and the Cohen investigation. Here is Sessions' opening statement, outlining his priorities.

A day earlier, when ABC News' chief White House correspondent Jon Karl asked Trump whether a pardon for Cohen was being contemplated, Trump dismissed it as a "stupid question".

The Cohen investigation certainly appears to fit the bill, given reports that authorities are looking at payments made to women before the election to keep quiet about alleged affairs they had with Trump.

In response to those concerns, Sessions asked U.S. Attorney John Huber of the District of Utah to independently review the issues, rather than hiring a special prosecutor.

The hearing was focused mostly on Justice Department budget issues, making it a shorter and less contentious exchange than Sessions's previous congressional appearances as attorney general. Chris Van Hollen reminded him that the attorney general had once defended the role of the pardon attorney.

Sessions also wouldn't discuss the prospect of Trump pardoning Cohen, though he did forcefully defend the constitutional right of the President's pardons of former Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Vice President Dick Cheney aide Scooter Libby, which were made without consulting the Justice Department's pardon office.

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"I don't believe it did", Sessions said again. Lindsey Graham he has confidence in his deputy attorney general, who supervises the special counsel probe.

The president has repeatedly complained about Mr. Sessions' decision, calling it "very unfair" and saying he would have picked someone else for attorney general had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself.

Leahy also pressed Sessions about whether he would consider resigning in protest should the President fire Rosenstein, a scenario that was raised in reports last week.

"It's a question of what Sessions has chose to do", Twardy said.

"Even though you were surprised by that question?" "Your smile answers the question".

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