- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions came out swinging Tuesday, blasting his former colleagues in the U.S. Senate for their sham investigation into these loony accusations that somehow Mr. Sessions conspired with Russians to rig last year’s election.

The ever-courtly Mr. Sessions ripped Sen. Al Franken, current Minnesota Democrat and former “comedian,” for his “rambling” question during Mr. Sessions’ January confirmation hearings that sparked a feeding frenzy among Democratic dodo birds desperate to find the slenderest reed of a connection between Russia and anyone who has ever supported President Trump.

With precision and accuracy Tuesday, Mr. Sessions noted how Mr. Franken had larded his question with bamboozling charges about “compromising personal information” the Russians had supposedly collected about Mr. Trump.

The “Saturday Night Live” sketch actor asserted “there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.”

Finally, Mr. Franken got down to his question: What would Mr. Sessions do — as attorney general — if evidence ever actually surfaced suggesting that the Trump campaign really had conspired with the Russian government to rig the American election.

Blindsided, yet still eager to be forthcoming and truthful, Mr. Sessions simply answered that he was not aware of any such conspiracy.

In his confirmation hearing, Mr. Sessions answered Mr. Franken’s question truthfully and accurately. Ironically, it was every core assertion in Mr. Franken’s question that has since been proven utterly false or entirely unfounded.

In Tuesday’s testimony, Mr. Sessions excoriated — in a voice that appeared quavering with anger at times — those who are knowingly distorting plain and simple events into this vast web of conspiracy.

“The suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor for over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie,” he said, looking sharply at the senators he worked alongside for the past two decades.

He also reminded the committee that — despite the unrelenting lies by Democrats and the media — the attorney general NEVER recused himself from the Trump-Russia investigation because of some phantom ties he had to Russia, but rather because he was part of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

Defiantly adding this: “I recused myself from any investigation into the campaigns for president, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false accusations.”

Mr. Sessions even went so far as to gently ridicule his former colleagues for focusing on such petty, political and trivial nonsense at a time when far more pressing matters should be occupying their full attention.

“Just last week, it was reported that overdose deaths in this country are rising faster than ever recorded,” he said. “The murder rate is up over 10 percent — the largest increase since 1968.”

Yet, there they were. Democrats and Republicans, alike, united in bipartisan investigation into Russians under every bed and around every corner and a hopeless, slobbering media chasing wildly after every last unfounded accusation.

In a reminder to Democrats on the committee why political neophyte Donald Trump beat their veteran candidate in last year’s election, Mr. Sessions pointed out that yet again Congress has abandoned the American people.

“The president wants to focus on the people of this country to ensure they are treated fairly and kept safe,” he said. “The Trump agenda is to improve the lives of the American people. I know some have other agendas but that is his agenda and it is one I share.”

If only those in Congress had the political instincts or noble statesmanship of President Trump, we just might get something done around here.

• Charles Hurt can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter by @charleshurt.

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