Sessions said at the outset that he would “respond to questions as fully as the Lord enables me to do,” by which he apparently meant not very fully.
As soon as he got questions that made him uncomfortable, Sessions stopped citing the Almighty and instead relied on supposedly long-standing Department of Justice rules against talking about private communications in public.
He was happy to say, for example, that he and Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, discussed firing Comey before they were confirmed.
…But he was not willing to talk about anything the president said to him or Rosenstein beyond that, because it would violate those rules about not talking about confidential discussions between high-ranking officials. That gave the hearing a rather surreal air at times.
…Trump said, in a television interview, that he planned to fire Comey regardless of what Sessions and Rosenstein thought and that he did it because of the Russia investigation.
…But at the hearing all [Sessions] would say, more than once, was that he would let Trump’s “words speak for themselves.”
…Well, Feinstein asked, did the Russia investigation come up in the discussion about Comey? “I’m not able to comment on that” because it was a private conversation, Sessions said.
…[Sessions] recused himself from the Russia investigation because Justice Department rules require that any official who was a senior adviser to a candidate in an election stay out of investigations related to that election. But when Senator Ron Wyden asked why he then signed a letter recommending that Comey be fired over the Clinton campaign email investigation, Sessions grew angry.
“It did not violate my recusal,” he shouted.
I guess surreal is one to put it.