Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions failed to disclose to the US Senate during his confirmation that he held meetings with the Russian ambassador. It’s plain on its face. At best, he misled the Senate. At worst, he was part of a team of Trump backers and advisers who were talking—about what we’re not sure—to the Russians while they were suspected on putting a big, red thumb on the election scale in favor of the now-president. In any case, a special prosecutor is warranted and necessary to restore now-shaky credibility to the young administration.
Massachusetts US Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called for Sessions’ resignation. Connecticut US Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy as well as other lawmakers have weighed in.
Sessions, who has now at least recused himself from any probe into Russian interference in the American election, has brought a number of get-out-in-front-it admissions of communications with Russians officials.
The White House admitted shortly after the Sessions fiasco started to spread that President Trump’s son-in-law and now top adviser Jared Kushner met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak back in December. Foreign policy advisor and short-lived national security advisor Michael Flynn was also in the meeting.
Sessions, for his part, is a former prosecutor, US attorney and state attorney general, is well-versed in perjury law. It’s tough to prove and involves state of mind. But perjury need not be proven for his answers to the Senate are proven false. And that should be enough to disqualify him for the position of the country’s top law enforcement official.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) submitted a written question to Sessions as part of the confirmation process. This is from the transcript:
22. The intelligence community has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in an effort to help elect Donald Trump. The report is available at https://www.dni.gov/files/ documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf. Russian interference in our elections is larger than any candidate or political party. This is about protecting our democracy…
…e. Several of the President-Elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?
Sessions answer the question with one word. “No.”
The confirmation hearing question from Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has gone viral.
It seems things are unraveling for the new administration. At least this time they have tried to scream, “Fake news!”
The smartest thing the Trump administration can do is agree to the appointment of a special prosecutor. If they continue to resist, the entire business of the White House could be consumed by this Russian Connection story. With a special prosecutor would allow them to operate government free and clear of constant questions. “That’s the purview of the special prosecutor” could become an easy way for the Trump administration to move forward.
Trumpers would have to resist a special prosecutor at all costs if in fact, they have something to hide. I don’t think any reasonable person would reject out of hand the possibility that Trump was involved in Russian efforts to tip the election in his favor.
The question is not why did Jeff Sessions meet with Russian ambassador Kislyak. The question is why did he find it necessary to conceal it.