Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), right center, nominee for attorney general, talks to former attorney general Michael Mukasey, confirmation hearings on Jan. 10. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Democrats, who have repeatedly asked if Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) can maintain independence from a Donald Trump White House if he’s confirmed as attorney general, used a morning panel of witnesses to tease that out. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) homed in on former attorney general Michael Mukasey, who served at the end of the George W. Bush administration.

“If you received a call from on high, from the White House, from any person in the White House, relative to an ongoing investigation or prosecution, what do you believe was the appropriate response in that situation?” Durbin asked.

“The appropriate response is, whatever investigation it is, it’s going to be pursued to its logical conclusion,” Mukasey said. “I’m glad the question was in the hypothetical, because I did not get such a call.”

“So is it your position that the attorney general is independent in this decision-making?” Durbin said.

“Correct,” Mukasey said.

That, Durbin said, raised questions about one of Sessions’s attention-grabbing statements on Tuesday, that he would recuse himself if more probes were launched against Hillary Clinton.