by Yamily Habib
10/18/2017 - 17:10
"What I meant to say was..."
The Senate Judiciary Committee investigation has again cornered the Attorney General, further investigating possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 election campaign.
In his second round on the bench, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a new version of the events in which he allegedly held conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
The prosecutor said he "did not recall" elements of those conversations during his three meetings with the ambassador during 2016, adding for the first time that some important issues "could have been discussed."
In an exchange that the English media described as "testy" between Democrat Senators and the Attorney General, Sessions rephrased his previous statement - in which he claimed that he had not had contact with the Russians - explaining that, "I did not have a continuous exchange of information".
In addition, the Attorney General - who had to recuse himself from the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections - said he was not aware of any collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the election results, which is at the heart of an investigation by a Special Committee in the Senate.
Sessions also insisted that he had no knowledge of an alleged meeting on June 9, 2016 between the president's son, his son-in-law, and his campaign manager with a Russian lawyer who offered "potentially damaging" information about Hillary Clinton.
According to The Guardian, Sessions would find himself in "in a potentially perilous situation as lying to Congress is a felony and his previous testimony could form part of an investigation into obstruction of justice by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.”
During his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions said he "had no communication with the Russians," but later revealed in March that he had had meetings with the Russian ambassador. In addition, an investigation by the Washington Post found in July that US intelligence agencies had intercepted communications in which Kislyak told the Kremlin that he had had "substantial conversations" with Sessions about Trump's positions on relations between The United States and Russia, Reuters reported.
On Wednesday, Sessions said he did not recall the specifics of those conversations, radically changing his position from the previous audience.
”I don’t think there was any discussions about the details of the campaign,“ he said. ”It could have been that in that meeting in my office or at the convention ... some comments were made about what Trump’s positions were. I think that’s possible.”
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy told the Attorney General that many members of the Committee think that Sessions gave "false testimony" by denying that he had previously met with the Russians.
But Sessions asserted that the context of that question framed only issues pertaining to interference during the 2016 campaign, and said that, "I think my answer was correct."
Even though his only negatives this time were regarding his private conversations with President Trump, Sessions seems not only to have changed his mind about his testimonies, but has also given a twist to the nut of the investigation that has overshadowed this new administration from its day one.