WATCH: Sessions Refuses To Answer Questions About Stephen Miller At Hearing
In the middle of a five-hour appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to answer questions about top White House aide Stephen Miller — his own former employee.
Miller, the president’s senior adviser for policy who joined the Trump campaign from Sessions’s Senate staff, wrote the first draft of the letter justifying the firing of then-FBI director James Comey. Sessions was asked by Rep. Pramila Jayapal if Miller had ever told him that he was working on such a letter.
“Mr. Miller is a high government official close to the president of the United States, and I’m not at liberty to reveal the nature of any conversations we may have had,” Sessions responded. He claimed that he was not invoking executive privilege, but “following the long-established policies of the Department of Justice.”
Jayapal tried to further enquire as to what grounds Sessions was refusing to answer her question when her time expired. After a testy exchange with Democratic Rep. David Cicilline over whether the committee had a right to force Sessions to answer the question, committee chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte ruled that Sessions was within his rights.
Administrations from both parties “have long stated their ability to not answer questions regarding communications at the highest level of our government,” Goodlatte said.
Miller is the highest-level administration official to be questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team as part of their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Sessions has recused himself from overseeing Mueller because of his own past meetings with Russian officials, which he had previously denied in congressional testimony.