Jeff Sessions Must Now Tell America the Whole Truth

This piece originally appeared at The Guardian

Before answering questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on 10 January, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions raised his hand and pledged an oath to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

Today it appears Sessions violated that oath before the committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee must open a full investigation into whether the attorney general perjured himself when he said he had no contact with Russian officials during the election.

demand an investigation

During the confirmation hearing, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked Sessions what he would do if he learned someone affiliated with the Trump campaign had any interaction with the Russian government during the run-up to the election. The question was a pointed and necessary one after intelligence reports that Russia had allegedly intervened in the presidential election to tip it in favor of his potential boss, President Trump.

Sessions replied, “I’m not aware of any of those activities.” Then he went further, stating, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.” Soon after, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) followed up with written questions asking whether Sessions had contact with Russian officials about the 2016 election. He wrote back one word to the question, “No.”

But Sessions should have been aware of those activities, because he engaged in them. According to The Washington Post last night, Sessions spoke at least twice with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US who is reportedly a top spy recruiter for Russia, when he was a senior member of the Armed Services Committee as well as an early and trusted adviser to the Trump campaign. One of the encounters was a September meeting between the two men in Sessions’ Senate office.

As Sessions knows all too well: No one is above the law — certainly not those sworn to uphold it.

What did the two talk about? According to one Justice Department official, it’s hard to say. “There’s just not strong recollection of what was said,” the official told the Post.

The position of Sessions’ team at the Justice Department, the White House, and top Republican leadership surrounding these perjury allegations seems to be: Nothing to see here. Sessions has even directly proclaimed his innocence. “I have no idea what this allegation is about,” he said in a statement released last night. “It is false.”

But such disavowals are not good enough by Sessions’ own standards. During the Clinton impeachment proceedings in 1999, the Alabama senator pushed hard for charging President Bill Clinton with perjury and, if convicted, his removal from office. During a C-Span appearance, Sessions rightly sized up the seriousness of the perjury accusation levied at Clinton. “The American people believe no one is above the law and the president has gotten himself into this fix that is very serious,” he said. “I intend to give him an absolutely fair trial.”

What held true then holds true now: The Senate judiciary committee must hold an open public investigation. In 1999, Sen. Sessions himself stated the case for action: “The Senate has demonstrated three times in the last 13 years that perjury by civil officers of the United States requires removal.”

Jeff Sessions should take his own advice and welcome a full and fair investigation into whether he lied during his confirmation hearing. The attorney general deserves to be presumed innocent, but the American people also deserve a full investigation into whether he committed a federal crime by lying under oath as well as the details on what he and Kislyak spoke about during their meetings. Anything less, as Sessions has said before, would weaken our legal system and cast doubt on whether the powerful are held to account for their crimes.

As Sessions knows all too well: No one is above the law — certainly not those sworn to uphold it.

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John Wright

Jeff Sessions must resign.....and I believe should go to jail for perjury. Jeff Sessions committed a Federal Crime, lying to Congress. Martha Stewart did not get special treatment.

Anonymous

I agree John Wright

Anonymous

Agreed!
Have you noticed that most every individual that Trump has offered a Cabinet Position is not QUALIFIED due to their lack of Degree in that Field; their total LACK OF EXPERIENCE in the job they will hold (Betsy DeVos is a prime example); their biased, discriminatory narrow minds, which preclude their properly serving THE PEOPLE; and for some, their "rap sheets" or unlawful behavior AFTER being approved by the Republicans?
I have NEVER witnessed our government in such a state!
I have never witnessed such deplorable actions on the part of Republicans, solely because of their Congressional Majority causing them to forget for whom Democrats AND Republicans work:
NOT THE PRESIDENT, BUT THE PEOPLE!

Dan M.

Totally agree. Great post John!

Mary Grover

as the old saying goes he cooked his own goose

Maria, Washington DC

WANT TO PROTEST SESSION'S ACTIONS?

Sign a Petition:

http://www.commoncause.org/take-action/act/breaking-jeff-sessions-lied-to-congress-secret-meetings-russia-demand-resignation.html?gclid=CJqk2ubJutICFUZXDQod4HACIg#.WLmBz8xr8vg.mailto

Attend a Protest:

http://www.rallylist.com/protest-trump-at-russian-embassy-in-dc-3-4-17/

Anonymous

I agree with John Wright.
I am going to share with you ALL why I DEMAND a full investigation of Session's purported PERJURY during his Confirmation Hearing. I am going to share with you ALL why SESSIONS MUST lose his job, if determined guilty.
The Attorney General is supposed to be a MORAL individual, who sits as the HEAD ENFORCER of the Nation's CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS. The A.G. must meet the HIGH MORAL BAR of the position.
TO LIE IN ORDER TO GAIN THAT POSITION is to sully all for which that High Office stands.
Now, WHY is this issue of GREAT IMPORTANCE to me???

I am the widow of a Newport News, Va. police Sergeant who served for THIRTY years. Harry put HIS LIFE ON THE LINE EVERY TIME HE WENT TO WORK. Harry was an integral part of that lawful group whose leader is the Attorney General. The Attorney General is supposed to Lead by EXAMPLE and closely follow their MORAL COMPASS.
IF JEFF SESSIONS is not fully investigated and does not lose his job if found GUILTY OF PERJURY during his Confirmation Hearing,

I SHALL COUNT THAT AS A SLAP IN MY LATE HUSBAND'S FACE FOR EVERY DAY OF THOSE 30 YEARS THAT HE PUT HIS LIFE ON THE LINE, PROTECTING AND SERVING ALL THE CITIZENS OF NEWPORT NEWS. He was a moral, upright,
unbiased, non-dicriminatory officer for ALL-------AND HIGHLY RESPECTED.
HOW dare Jeff Sessions as good as slap Harry in the face!!!
Sessions IS racist; Sessions IS biased; and SESSIONS, if convicted of his apparent perjury (he's caught on tape, for goodness' sake!!!) has basically brought the SWAMP with him, to sully this lofty position.
HOW DARE HE AS GOOD AS SLAP HARRY!! HOW DARE HE TARNISH THE LOFTY OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
IF FOUND GUILTY OF PERJURY, IMMEDIATELY GIVE HIM A BOX TO CLEAN OUT HIS DESK, AND WHISK HIM BRISKLY OUT THE DOOR OF
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE!! JUSTICE. JUSTICE.
THAT IS THE KEY WORD, HERE!!

Buzzby

The Electoral College (not the People) put a pathological liar into the Oval Office. How can we hold his Attorney General to a higher standard than the President, who wouldn't know the truth if it hit him in the face with a custard pie?

Damon Cawley

Synthetic telepathy makes this whole charade seem absurd and ridiculous.

Anonymous

Where is the copy of the ethics complaint against Sessions?

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