If anything, the biggest take away from Sessions’ testimony is that while Sessions is taking action on Russian interference in commercial matters, he’s satisfied with doing a “review” of interference in our elections.
It’s ironic considering that the Trump administration’s expressed interest in preserving election integrity amounts to keeping eligible voters off the rolls while the President retweets fake news originating from Russian bots.
Much of Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee was unremarkable. He either lied or dodged questions by declaring, without a legal basis to do so, his conversations with Trump regarding Russia are private.
The most important news that came out of his testimony was buried by many important issues, like Sessions’ indifference for the civil rights of people beyond the Republican party’s base of white male and conservative Evangelicals.
Namely, Sessions admitted that he has been negligent when it comes to Russia’s interference in our elections. As important as civil rights are, without free and fair elections all the rights and protections we enjoy under the constitution are in danger.
While Sessions has technically recused himself from matters related to Russia and the 2016 election, he is being negligent when it comes to Russian interference in future elections.
Susan Hennessey, wrote about the exchange in an article for Foreign Policy. Sasse asked the following question: “As the nation’s chief law enforcement officer and as a supervisor of multiple components of our intelligence community … do you think we’re doing enough to prepare for future interference by Russia and other foreign adversaries in the information space?”
For a man who was so “offended” by suggestions that he colluded with Russia in 2016 one would think that Sessions would welcome this opportunity to quash those doubts by acting within his capacity to make sure we are doing everything possible to prevent future interference by Russia and other foreign adversaries, right? Here’s what he said: “Probably not. We’re not. And the matter is so complex that for most of us, we are not able to fully grasp the technical dangers that are out there.”
The bad politics are obvious, especially given the fiery exchange Sessions had with Senator Al Franken over Sessions’ lies regarding his meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 elections.
Sessions acknowledge that Russia interfered with elections in 2016 and told Sasse that “requires a real review.” When Sasse followed up by asking Sessions what steps his department has taken or should to learn from 2016 to prevent foreign interference in future elections; Sessions was strikingly silent. That pretty much tells us the DOJ is doing nothing.
You’ll be glad to know the DOJ is really paying attention to commercial interference by foreigners, and theft of trade secrets and data, but when it comes to the security of our elections – nothing.
This is particularly interesting considering how “outraged” Sessions’ by Senator Franken’s questioning about Sessions’ lies regarding the several meetings he had with Russians during the 2016 campaign.
The outrage belongs to America, Mr. Attorney-General. By doing nothing about Russia’s interference in our elections, the Attorney-General is showing us he has no interest in preserving the integrity of a free and fair election system in America. That’s reinforced by the DOJ’s willingness to allow states like Texas to continue disenfranchising eligible voters.