During Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony on Tuesday regarding Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election, partisan lines helped shape the perspective of Sessions’ answers. While Democrat Senators tended to assume Sessions was attempting to avoid answering questions regarding his conversations with President Trump or Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Republicans leaned toward leniency, allowing Sessions the choice to withhold answers that he deemed private.

Sessions' testimony

When asked about conversations Attorney General Sessions had with President Trump, he refused to answer based on the president’s constitutional right to executive privilege.

Executive privilege allows the president to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions. While Sessions himself cannot invoke executive privilege, he argued against answering so the president could still invoke the privilege if so inclined.

What Sessions said

“I am protecting the president’s constitutional right by not giving it away before he has the chance to use it,” Sessions said.

Several Democrat Senators continued to push for answers regarding those conversations, accusing Sessions of stonewalling the investigation.

“You raised your right hand here today, and you said that you would solemnly tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And now you're not answering questions.

You're impeding this investigation," said New Mexico Senator (D) Martin Heinrich.

Moving between Democrat and Republican Senators asking questions, the tension was visible on Sessions’ face. He broke into a smile several times when a Republican began their line of questions.

“I am amazed at the conversations, as if an Attorney General has never said that there were private conversations with the president, and we don’t need to discuss those," said Oklahoma Senator (R) James Lankford.

Not every Senator played along partisan lines when questioning the Attorney General. What privilege Sessions had in refusing to answer certain questions, and withholding certain information from the Senate is continuing to be debated. California Senator (D) Kamala Harris took to Twitter to continue her attack on Sessions’ refusal.

The questioning lasted a bit over two hours. The investigation of possible meddling in the 2016 presidential election will continue, likely for several months.