Sure, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III gave a false reply to both a verbal and a written question, but before you schedule that perjury trial, make sure to leave plenty of room on the calendar. Because Sessions was far from alone.
There’s Scott Pruitt, heading up the incredible shrinking and increasingly pointless EPA. During his hearing, Pruitt was asked a rather straightforward question that should have been expected by anyone who had a nodding acquaintance with the election.
Pruitt stated in testimony that he had never used a private email account to conduct business while he was Oklahoma’s attorney general.
Yeah. Except, no.
Emails released under court order last week in response to a different public records request yielded additional examples where emails were addressed to Pruitt's private account ...
Or take this exchange with Ed-u-cay-shun Secretary Betsy DeVos about her family’s LGBT-hating foundation.
“You sit on the board,” Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., noted. DeVos responded, “I do not.”
Funny thing … she does. Except DeVos says she doesn’t. It’s just that the foundation’s paperwork has been wrong. Every year. For twenty years. And that’s still not all.
If anyone is going to be prosecuted for their testimony, one Trump cabinet member deserves to be in line even ahead of Sessions. During his hearing, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin denied that his company had used automatically created “robo-signing” documents to press foreclosure claims. Considering that Mnuchin purchased an entire bank expressly for the purpose of booting people from their homes, this seemed unlikely. And it was.
As the Columbus Dispatch detailed, OneWest Bank employees frequently signed documents in bulk without proper review, which is what robo-signing is. One employee testified that she typically signed about 750 foreclosure documents per week. The Dispatch noted that a judge stopped three OneWest Bank foreclosures “specifically based on inaccurate robo-signings.” Reuters also detailed the bank’s robo-signing back in 2011.
Despite all that, Mnuchin denied any use of robo-signing in a written statement. And despite that, Republicans confirmed Mnuchin so he could bring his “kicked out a widow over 27 cents” sensibility to the Treasury.
Then there was Tom Price. The new Health and Human Services Secretary was flat-out famous for using insider knowledge from his position on House committees to make a fortune in stocks. But sometimes his deals went beyond Congress’s already extremely loose rules and into the realm of hey-isn’t-that-bribery? For example:
During his confirmation hearings, Price insisted that the discount he got on a biotech stock was “available to every single individual that was an investor at the time.”
What Price actually got was an insider deal available to fewer than twenty people. And he got his position. As with every other nominee, lying and cheating didn’t stop Price from being confirmed.
So, sure, Jefferson Sessions lied, but he was in good company. Blatantly lying on the record was not only a frequent occurrence in this crop of nominees, not one of them suffered for it.
What did you expect? Trump gets away with it every day.