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更新时间:2017-6-14 18:40:01 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Jeff Sessions Fends Off Senators Pressing Him on Russia and Trump

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered an indignant defense on Tuesday against what he called “an appalling and detestable lie” that he may have colluded with the Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election, showcasing his loyalty to President Trump in an often contentious Senate hearing but declining to answer central questions about his or the president’s conduct.

周二,司法部长杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)针对他口中“一个骇人听闻、令人厌恶的谎言”——也就是他或许曾与俄罗斯人串谋干预2016年美国总统选举的说法——愤然为自己辩护。他在参议院的一场充斥着争论的听证会上展示了对特朗普总统的忠诚,但却拒绝回答与他本人或总统的行为有关的核心问题。

Sounding by turns defiant and wounded, Mr. Sessions, a former senator from Alabama, often infused his testimony with more emotion than specifics. He insisted repeatedly that it would be “inappropriate” to discuss his private conversations with the president, however relevant they might be, visibly frustrating senators who have been conducting their own inquiry into Russia’s election meddling.


Mr. Sessions cast his recusal three months ago from Russia-related inquiries as a mere procedural matter, given his status as a high-profile Trump campaign surrogate last year, and not a product of any wrongdoing.


“I recused myself from any investigation into the campaign for president,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee, in what was the latest highly charged congressional hearing of the Trump age. “I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations.”

“我自行回避了所有针对总统竞选活动的调查,”他在特朗普时代最新一场群情激荡的国会听证会上告诉参议院情报委员会(Senate Intelligence Committee)。“但我不会放弃驳斥下流的不实指控、捍卫自身荣誉的机会。”

Yet at times, Mr. Sessions seemed committed to revealing as little information as possible, particularly about his interactions with the president. Pressed on his rationale, Mr. Sessions allowed that Mr. Trump had not invoked executive privilege concerning the testimony of his attorney general.


“I am protecting the right of the president to assert it if he chooses,” Mr. Sessions said.


“I don’t understand how you can have it both ways,” said Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. “You’ve testified that only the president can assert it. I just don’t understand the legal basis for your refusal to answer.”

“我不明白你怎么能两边的道理都占上,”立场一般偏向于民主党的缅因州独立参议员安格斯·金(Angus King)说。“你作证说唯有总统可以行使这项权力。我完全不明白你拒绝回答问题的法律依据何在。”

Mr. Sessions’s appearance did little to move the White House beyond the shadow of Russia-tinged investigations, which have for months consumed the president and his team — often with firestorms of Mr. Trump’s own making.


On Tuesday, as the attorney general came to Capitol Hill, his administration was straining to play down suggestions that Mr. Trump is considering firing Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating possible ties between the president’s associates and Russian officials.

周二,当司法部长前往国会山时,他的部门竭力淡化这样的说法:特朗普正考虑解雇罗伯特·S·穆勒三世(Robert S. Mueller III),也就是那位受命调查总统身边人与俄罗斯官员之间的可能关联的特别检察官。

Mr. Sessions spoke from the same hearing room where James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, testified last week that Mr. Trump had tried to derail an investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser. Mr. Comey, whom Mr. Trump fired last month, also accused the president of lying and defaming him and the F.B.I.

塞申斯发言时所在的听证会场,上周曾迎来前联邦调查局局长詹姆斯·B·科米(James B. Comey)。科米在那里作证称,特朗普曾试图终结针对其前任国家安全顾问迈克尔·T·弗林(Michael T. Flynn)的调查。于上月被特朗普解雇的科米,还指控总统撒谎并抹黑他和联邦调查局。

That testimony colored much of Tuesday’s hearing, with Democrats pressing Mr. Sessions on several key elements of Mr. Comey’s account. Among the questions: Why was Mr. Sessions involved in Mr. Comey’s firing — months after Mr. Sessions had removed himself from involvement in the investigations after failing to disclose past contacts with the Russian ambassador?


“It is absurd, frankly,” Mr. Sessions began, “to suggest that a recusal from a single specific investigation would render the attorney general unable to manage the leadership of the various Department of Justice law enforcement components that conduct thousands of investigations.”


Mr. Sessions also addressed Mr. Comey’s recollection of a private meeting in February with Mr. Trump, when Mr. Comey said the president pressured him to drop the Flynn investigation. Mr. Trump asked to be left alone with Mr. Comey, the former director has said. Mr. Sessions stayed behind at first but then left, according to Mr. Comey. He later told Mr. Sessions to never again leave him alone with Mr. Trump.


On Tuesday, Mr. Sessions seemed to confirm at least fragments of Mr. Comey’s rendering.


“I do recall being one of the last ones to leave,” he said. “I don’t know how that occurred.”


But Mr. Sessions said he did not see the arrangement as “a major problem,” calling Mr. Comey an experienced official who “could handle himself well.”


After the meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey, Mr. Sessions recalled, Mr. Comey “expressed concern to me about that private conversation.”


“And I agreed with him, essentially, that there are rules on private conversations with the president,” Mr. Sessions continued. “But there’s not a prohibition.”