Idaho Senator Jim Risch was among the Intelligence Committee members who questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday. Risch seemed to suggest the committee is wasting its time looking into allegations of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia.
Risch began by underscoring the importance of the ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling with the 2016 election. He then moved quickly to paint accusations of collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russians as a red herring, describing it as, “one of the things that we’ve spent substantially more time on that than we have on the Russian active measures.”
He went on, saying, “We've been through thousands of pages of information, interviewed witnesses and everything else and we’re no—really no different than where we were when this whole thing started.”
Risch then asked Attorney General Sessions if he was aware of any reports of collusion.
Sessions responded, “What was said that would suggest I participated in the continuing communications with Russians as a surrogate is absolutely false.”
Next, Risch led Sessions through a scenario of just how easily one can find themselves chatting with foreign officials in the nation’s capital.
“Conversations with officers of other governments or ambassadors or what have you are everyday occurrences here, multiple time occurrences for most of us,” Risch said. “Is that a fair statement?” he asked.
“I think it is, yes,” Sessions replied.
Risch continued, saying, “And if you run into one in the grocery store you’re going to have a conversation with him. Is that fair?”
“Could very well happen,” Sessions said, adding, “nothing improper.”
Risch wrapped up his time asking Sessions if he heard any whispers during the campaign that would suggest Russian involvement. Sessions responded with a definite no, but his response was more flexible when Risch asked what he would’ve done had he heard that.
“Well,” Sessions said, “I would’ve been shocked and known it was improper.”
“And headed for the exit, I suppose?” asked Risch.
Sessions responded with, “Maybe.”
Following his questioning by Risch, Sessions was interrogated by California’s Dianne Feinstein.
For more local news, follow the KBSX newsroom on Twitter @KBSX915
Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio