Sessions Won’t Say Whether He’d Prosecute Trump or His Associates

Instead, he changed the subject to China.


Jeff Sessions dedicated his opening remarks of his Senate confirmation hearing to be the next attorney general on Tuesday to pledging to work independently of Donald Trump and avoid using the position to become a “mere rubber stamp” for the president-elect’s political agenda. 

But when later asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) if he would be willing to prosecute the Russian hacking allegations—even if the investigation were to negatively affect Trump or members of his inner circle—Sessions deflected the question.

“Can you assure us that in any conflict between the political interests of the president and the interests of justice, you will follow the interests of justice even if your duties require the investigation and even prosecution of the president, his family, and associates?” Whitehouse asked.

“If there are laws violated, and if it can be prosecuted, then of course you’d have to handle that in an appropriate way,” Sessions answered. He then quickly changed the subject to Chinese hacking—a topic Trump has also brought up when asked about Russian meddling in the November elections.

Sessions’ response appeared to contradict his earlier assurances that he’d be willing to challenge Trump. Sessions also said that he had done “no research” into claims Russia interfered with the presidential election in order to help Trump win, as high-level intelligence officials have concluded. Sessions did say, however, that he believed the conclusion was “honorably reached.”

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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