Patrick Leahy (D-VT), currently the U.S. Senate’s longest-serving member (42 years), today called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to put to rest the Trump wiretapping charges against former President Obama, saying Sessions knows the truth and is simply unwilling to come forward.
“I was asked earlier this morning about what President Trump has tweeted, basically charging former President Obama with having spied on him in a way that would be patently illegal,” said the Vermont Democrat. “Of course, President Obama’s advisors have denied any such thing happened. If it did happen, of course, it would be a grave constitutional issue and if such a thing did happen, it would be criminal conduct.”
“Was Mr. Trump telling the truth in his tweet or not? There’s a very simple response on this. There’s one person who knows whether it’s true or not and he’s been totally silent on this — that’s Attorney General Sessions.”
Leahy continued, mentioning that Sessions was very clear in his confirmation hearings that he was capable of serving with the extreme independence required of an Attorney General and that in no way would he ever be moved from pursuing the truth based on loyalty to Trump.
“Attorney General Sessions made it very clear in his confirmation hearing — well, he said a number of things at his confirmation hearing — but one was, of course, was that he would be independent,” said Leahy. “President Trump has leveled very serious charges against former President Obama. I happen to feel that the charges are false but let’s have a definitive voice.”
“The Attorney General should have the courage and independence to simply say Mr. Trump is telling the truth or he’s not. It’s a very simple matter. I would hope that the president and everybody else would keep asking him because eventually somebody has to answer that question. And the attorney general can.”
Here’s the full video clip from the Senate floor:
Of course, there’s a reason Senate Democrats will not let this matter drift away and it goes beyond defending President Obama’s honor. It is possible that Trump making such a baseless charge could be an impeachable offense or, at the very least, add weight to charges brought for other reasons.
So we wait again on the actions of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Let’s hope Democrats keep the pressure on as they have so far.