There was mostly praise across conservative media for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. “No more Mr. Nice Guy,” the Washington Times’ Charles Hurt wrote. “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.”
“I thought Sessions handled the recusal questions well, explaining that he recused himself from the Russia investigation, not overall responsibility for the FBI,” National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote. “It’s when it comes to the reasons for Comey’s dismissal that things get hazier. Sessions can’t come out and say it but his testimony and the evidence pretty strongly suggests that Sessions and Rosenstein wanted to get rid of Comey for one reason (he violated normal procedures in the Clinton investigation) and Trump terminated him for another (Comey wouldn’t publicly say that he wasn’t under investigation).”
The Review’s Andrew McCarthy defended Sessions’ quasi-invocation of executive privilege in his refusal to answer questions about communications with President Trump:
Senator Heinrich pressed the attorney general to disclose the contents of conversations with President Trump. As a matter of policy, the attorney general does not answer such questions in order to protect the president’s power to invoke executive privilege. Heinrich may not like that privilege (at least with a Republican in the White House), but it is recognized in law. Knowing Sessions would not answer the questions, Heinrich proceeded to accuse the attorney general of obstruction — allegations of obstruction having become a Democratic fetish now that the Obama administration is no longer in power and matters such as “Fast and Furious” and the IRS abuse of conservative groups are no longer the focus of congressional hearings.
[…]To be clear, the president’s decision not to assert his privilege in order to prevent the attorney general from appearing at the hearing is not a waiver of the privilege with respect to any individual question to which it may apply. And the attorney general’s refusal to answer any individual question is not an invocation of the privilege; it is a pause to enable the president to determine whether to waive the privilege.
The Independent Journal Review and the Daily Caller ran posts about Sen. Kamala Harris’ tense exchange with Sessions, with IJR’s Jason Howerton taking liberals to task for suggesting that racism had played a role in Chairman Richard Burr’s interruptions of her. “The questioning grew so contentious at one point that Harris had to be reminded by Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr to let the witness respond,” he wrote. “Moments after the exchange had concluded, allegations of racism were swirling on Twitter.” “The California senator tried to lock Sessions in a rapid fire question-and-answer style that didn’t allow Sessions to give full answers to her line of questioning,” the Caller’s Amber Athey wrote. “Harris was silenced last week during former FBI director James Comey’s testimony because she would not allow him to properly answer questions either.” On Twitter, Michelle Malkin diagnosed Harris with “interruptitis.”
There was praise for Sen. Tom Cotton’s opening statement, in which he highlighted the improbability of Sessions colluding in public with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, using allusions to spy fiction. “Tom Cotton Just Ripped a Gaping Hole in Democrats’ Conspiracy Theory About Russia,” an IJR headline read. On Twitter, Laura Ingraham concurred: