AZ Representative Paul Gosar (CD4) sent out a sharply worded defense of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday.
Rep. Gosar Defends Attorney General Jeff Sessions Against Democrat Witch Hunt
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement in response to bogus accusations from Democratic leaders falsely accusing Attorney General Jeff Sessions of lying to Congress:
“Democrats appear to be stuck on the denial stage of grief in the wake of getting shellacked in the 2016 elections. The latest accusations against Attorney General Jeff Sessions are clearly a desperate attempt to distract from President Trump’s widely praised Joint Address to Congress. There is zero evidence to suggest Attorney General Sessions acted inappropriately for doing his job as a Senior member of the Armed Services Committee. To interpret his answers during his confirmation hearing as ‘lying to Congress’ requires a stunning level of ignorance and deceit. While I am glad to see that Democratic leaders in Congress have started caring about government accountability once again, their dishonest actions to undermine the president are disgraceful.
“I’m proud to stand by the Attorney General and I call on all members of Congress to stop wasting time on sideshow distractions and personal attacks and focus instead on border security, tax reform and restoring the free markets--the very issues Americans support and deserve.”
On the record statement, attributed to Justice Department Spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores:
“There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer. Last year, the Senator had over 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian, German and Russian ambassadors. He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign--not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee.”
Perhaps radio host Sean Hannity has the clearest explanation of the situation.
1. Sessions was asked about Russia twice during his Senate Confirmation hearing.
2. In a written answer to a question posed by Senator Patrick Leahy, “Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” Sessions responded no.
3. Senator Franken asked what Sessions would do if evidence emerged that ‘surrogates’ affiliated the Trump campaign had communicated with intermediaries for the Russian government. Sessions said that he was not aware of any of those activities. “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
4. Sessions was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he had conversations with more than 25 ambassadors, including those from Britain, Korea, Japan, Poland, India, China and more. He met with the Russian ambassador in his office on one occasion.
5. Sessions was at a Heritage Foundation event attended by nearly 50 other ambassadors.
Senator Claire McCaskill tweeted that she had been on the Armed Services Committee for 10 years, and had never met with the Russian ambassador. Yet, she sent tweets in the past indicating that she indeed met with the Russian ambassador regarding US adoptions and also on another occasion, regarding the Iran deal.
Senator Ted Cruz called the issue political theater in a LifeZette article.
"This morning, everyone is in high dudgeon about the meeting," Cruz continued. "The underlying meeting is a nothing burger. It's what senators do every day. Meeting with foreign ambassadors, that's part of the job," he said.
"I think everyone is getting all worked up because it's a chance to beat up the attorney general and to beat up the president," said Cruz."
According to the Morning Joe show, Attorney General Sessions stated, “Whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself.”
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin agreed that meeting with ambassadors is not unusual in another LifeZette article.
"I’ve met with the Russian ambassador with group in my capacity, with a group of other senators; yes, that happens,” he told CNN. “We meet with all the ambassadors, or try to, anyway, to build the relationships that you can have some dialogue … we can basically talk and have some type of interactions back and forth and know where in the world people are coming from. So, that’s not unusual."
Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake have not issued a direct statement on the issue.
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