BREAKING: Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions Had Contact With Russia, Lied To Congress During Confirmation
Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, spoke to the Russian ambassador to the United States twice in 2016 during the presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. He did not reveal this when asked about it during Senate confirmation hearings. Sessions was a campaign adviser and surrogate for Trump. This has the potential to seriously undermine his ability to fulfill his duties as Attorney General.
The Post reported,
One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.
Given the rather brazen nature of this contact, it’s pretty remarkable that Sessions then denied it to his fellow Senators. The Post continued,
When Sessions spoke with Kislyak in July and September, the senator was a senior member of the influential Armed Services Committee as well as one of Trump’s top foreign policy advisers. Sessions played a prominent role supporting Trump on the stump after formally joining the campaign in February 2016.
At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.
“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
On Twitter, CAP Action posted video of Sessions denying under oath that he had any contact with the Russians during campaign,
Here's the video of Sessions denying **under oath** that he had communications with the Russians. pic.twitter.com/YFxCgqjQo6
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) March 2, 2017
Matt Ford, who writes for The Atlantic, posted a statement Sessions made in 1999 after voting to impeach President Bill Clinton for perjury, saying that “Under our Constitution, equal justice requires that he forfeit his office.”
— Matt Ford (@fordm) March 2, 2017
Contacts with the Russians has already taken down National Security Adviser Mike Flynn. Under a normal political paradigm in Washington, it would be inconceivable that the Attorney General could continue doing his job after this revelation. But Trump has shown a strong preference to protect his top advisers no matter what they are implicated with. And the Republican House has voted not to investigate the growing evidence that there was wide ranging contact between the Trump campaign and top Russian officials while Russian intelligence was actively working to undermine American democracy.
After little more than a month in office, the unprecedented level of conflicts of interest at play in Trump’s White House are already tearing his presidency apart at the seams. If Republicans attempt to sweep this incident under the rug, the contradictions inherent in Trump’s rise to power may become unmanageable.