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WATCH: Senator hammers Jeff Sessions over his ‘willful blindness’ to Russian interference in 2016 election

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Senator Patrick Leahy (Screenshot)

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Tuesday that his colleague Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was not independent enough to serve as the U.S. Attorney General for Donald Trump.

“I have very serious doubts that senator sessions would be an independent attorney general,” he said in the Senate Judiciary Committee while explaining why he was voting against Sessions’s confirmation. “Let me give you a few reasons why.”

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Leahy said Sessions had ignored potential conflicts of interest in the Trump administration. “Sessions has repeatedly evaded my questions on this topic by claiming that he has “not studied the issue.” He even refused to acknowledge that it is a conflict of interest for a President to have a personal financial stake in the policies pursued by his administration. This is the very definition of a conflict of interest: Presidents should not personally profit from their decisions.”

“Senator Sessions’ willful blindness extends even to the Russian interference in our democracy. I asked him a series of questions based on the intelligence community’s report on ‘Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.’ Multiple times, he answered my questions by stating, ‘I have not reviewed the report, but I have no reason not to accept the intelligence community’s conclusion(s) as contained in the report.'”

“I asked him whether the activities described in the report are illegal and a threat to our democratic process,” Leahy said. “That is not a difficult question: the answer should be an obvious ‘yes.’ If Senator Sessions is not willing even to acknowledge facts that make President Trump uncomfortable, how can we believe that Attorney General Sessions would ever say ‘no’ to President Trump?”

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