Before leaving office as Alabama attorney general, to replace Jeff Sessions in the Senate, Strange filed perjury charges against incoming Jefferson County District Attorney Charles Todd Henderson -- and he did it before Henderson even could take office. Now, as a U.S. senator, Strange has issued a stream of excuses for the false statements Sessions made during his confirmation hearing as Trump AG.
How does one explain Strange's wildly differing viewpoints? Could the explanation simply be that Henderson is a Democrat, and Sessions is a Republican? Does lying under oath become serious, in StrangeWorld, only when the alleged perpetrator is a member of the opposing party? The answer seems to be yes.
Get a load of this press release from Strange's office, dated Jan. 13, 2017, announcing Henderson's indictment:
Attorney General Luther Strange announced the indictment today of Jefferson County’s district attorney-elect, Charles Todd Henderson, on a felony perjury charge. Henderson surrendered this afternoon at the Jefferson County Jail.
Attorney General Strange’s Special Prosecutions Division presented evidence to a special grand jury in Jefferson County, resulting in Henderson’s indictment today. This action was taken following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office on information received from the Alabama State Bar in December of 2016.
Henderson is charged with one count of perjury under Code of Alabama §13A-10-101, which is a class C felony. Specifically, the indictment charges that Henderson did swear falsely and gave a false statement material to a proceeding before Judge Patricia Stephens in the case of Charbel Akl v. Yareima Carmen Valecillos Akl on September 26, 2016.
The indictment does not specify what false statement Henderson supposedly made -- but Strange charged him with perjury anyway. As for Sessions, it can't be seriously disputed that he made a false statement under oath. But Strange doesn't seem to take that seriously. Consider the new senator's words from a recent interview with Neil Cavuto, of Fox News:
CAVUTO: What do you make of this? Do you think that omission of a meeting is the same as lying about that meeting?
STRANGE: Well, I think Senator Sessions did a great job in his press conference clarifying the situation that occurred and correcting the record.
I have known Jeff an awful long time. And I'm more than certain that he would never intentionally mislead anyone. And I think he made that clear. In the context of the question he was asked, it was all about the campaign. And so I think it's -- as he understood the question, it was truthful.
Jeff Sessions "would never intentionally mislead anyone"? How does Luther Strange know that? How can he justify such a blanket statement? Is Strange saying that making false statements under oath isn't a concern if he has known you for "an awful long time"?
Here is more from the strange interview with Cavuto:
CAVUTO: But much of what had been the minute before this was about surrogates and their role and their discussions with the Russians.
And that would be, if I were being asked the question, I would be thinking, all right, now, he's asking as a campaign operative here what I did.
So, that, I understand. But -- but that is a big meeting not to recall or at least add on, and just to say, well, I did meet with the Russian ambassador in my office not very far from here on other matters, as you all do, as my colleagues on the left and right do all the time.
CAVUTO: But he didn't do that and he didn't clarify that.
And even later on, as he could have, he didn't provide an addendum even in writing or a report or a file. And that's what sort of is feeding this call for him to go way beyond recusing, to stepping down.
Now, that is probably extreme. That's political. I understand how your town works.
CAVUTO: But do you think he gave them the ammunition for that by not doing the kind of things that you would think, being considered for the highest legal office in the land, you do?
STRANGE: I really don't -- I don't think he did, Neil.
I think he was very clear in his written comments when he had time to reflect on it. This was a breaking news story at the time. And so I don't think that's the case at all.
What I would point out, because I sat through the entire day of these hearings before the Judiciary Committee as a private citizen and a friend of Senator Sessions, the attitude and the methodology of going after Senator Sessions has been well-established by the Democrats.
They said certain things about his record that were totally untrue and really mischaracterized his record as a senator and as a person, frankly. And I think it was very unfair to him. I think this is a continuation of that effort. And it goes way beyond Senator Sessions.
It really goes at trying to undermine the Trump presidency.
CAVUTO: All right.
Notice how Strange pivots to Sessions' written statements, and political matters, since it's nearly impossible to defend the AG's false oral statements to Al Franken. And Strange's official comments, as reported by Alabama Political Reporter, are even more nonsensical:
US Senator Luther Strange (R-Alabama) said, “I have not been in Washington very long, but I did not think Democrats could stoop much lower than they did during Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing. As we found out today, they can, and the hypocrisy of it is hard to stomach. For eight years, Democrats turned a blind eye to serious breaches of public trust, but they did not miss a beat in trying to undermine President Trump’s administration as it gets to work cleaning up their mess."
Memo to "Lutha": Democrats did not break the story of Sessions' false statements to Congress; America's free press, or what is left of it, did that. Again, Strange can't defend Sessions' conduct, so he tries to change the subject. And if Lutha wants a deeper understanding of hypocrisy, he should look in the nearest mirror.
Strange tries to excuse or throw up smokescreens for Sessions' conduct. But he brings perjury charges against Charles Todd Henderson for false statements that aren't even specified in the indictment.
Luther Strange is a classic postmodern political hack -- and statesmanship in America seems to be taking its dying breath.