Attorney General Jeff Sessions' statements during his Tuesday testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee about not recalling key details were "very disturbing," Rep. Eric Swalwell said Wednesday.
"Jeff Sessions corroborated some of what James Comey said as far as what he was willing to say," Swalwell, a California Democrat, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
"So now you have two people under oath who have corroborated James Comey's side of the story, which I think goes to the believability of James Comey as a witness. But also what's I think more telling is what Jeff Sessions would not say."
"If he wrote a memoir, I think it would be called, 'I Don't Recall,'" Swalwell said.
"That's very disturbing, because what he would not recall was not protected by any privilege, at least a legal privilege. It was a privilege that he thought he owed to protect the president. He even said and used those words, 'I'm protecting the president,'" Swalwell noted.
The congressman said Sessions' statements give the appearance that he has something to hide.
"When criminal conduct is alleged to have occurred in the White House, he could have been a little more forthcoming. And, instead, it looks like he's just covering up for the person he serves," Swalwell added.
Sessions' statements, Swalwell continued, appear to run counter to President Donald Trump's.
"The president on Friday told the world that he 100 percent would be willing to testify under oath, yet his own attorney general is — seems to be above that. And so I don't understand, if the president is willing to testify under oath, why would the attorney general seek to use a made-up privilege as a shield?
"Every individual involved in the firing of James Comey now has a different defense. We know the real defense because the president told us what it was, which was the Russia investigation. And as James Comey said, we should take the president at his word."
Before Sessions' testimony, the congressman dismissed the use of executive privilege during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes."
"What we do know about executive privilege is that it's a privilege. It's not a right… the public's right to know and the ability to inform a criminal prosecution is more important than any privilege a president has to communicate with his aides," Swalwell told Hayes.
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