In detailed legal terms, DNI Dan Coats and DNSA Mike Rogers are getting the ever-loving shit kicked out of them in their appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Though Initial questioning from Senator Mark Warner was stiff, but polite, the continuing refusal of both Coats and Rogers to answer any question concerning their conversations with Trump over the the Russia investigation clearly has senators pissed off. And as the pair have continued to put forward a sort of half-assed Executive Privilege Lite defense, in which they don’t have to answer because … because, the temperature in the Senate chamber has risen toward boiling. And then some.
After Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich launched multiple attempts to get a truthful answer—or indeed, any answer, out of Coats and Rogers, and after the assembled collection of Trump “intelligence” officers suddenly developed a deep concern for what Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants—even though they all admitted that they hadn’t talked to Mueller—an explosion was near.
Then came Angus King.
King: Is there an invocation by the president of the United States of executive privilege? Is there or not?
Rogers: Not that I’m aware of.
King: Then why are you not answering?
Rogers: Because I feel that it is inappropriate.
King: What you feel isn’t relevant, admiral.
King may have created his own bumper sticker motto. And even that line was just the warm up for the remainder of the exchange.
King: Why are you not answering the questions? Is it an invocation of executive privilege? If there is, let’s know about it. If there isn’t, answer the questions.
Rogers: I stand by the comments I made. I’m not interested in repeating myself, sir. And I don’t mean that in a … in a contentious way.
King: Well, I do mean it in a contentious way. I don’t understand why you’re not answering our questions.