On Jan. 10, during a Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied having communications with the Russians during the 2016 election campaign. However, US Justice Department officials say he met twice with Moscow representatives and did not disclose it.
The Washington Post is reporting that one of those meetings involved a private conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in September in, then Senator Session’s office. Kislyak is the same Russian diplomat former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with and allegedly spoke to about US sanctions against Russia. Flynn resigned shortly after the Justice Department briefed the White House on that meeting.
The Washington Post reports that Sessions denied having communications with the Russian government during his confirmation hearing.
At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Session 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.’”
This statement by Sessions, in response the Senator Franken’s question, would seem to have perjured him during his confirmation. A spokesperson for Sessions, Sarah Isgur Flores, defended him by saying he was asked about meetings between Trump’s team and Russia, not about meetings he had himself.
The Washington Post stated:
“’There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,’ said Sarah Isgur Flores, Sessions’s spokeswoman.”
Justice officials said Sessions met with Kislyak on Sept. 8 in his capacity as a member of the armed services panel rather than in his role as a Trump campaign surrogate.”
Since it seems Sessions was both a member of the armed services committee and a Trump campaign surrogate at the time of the meeting, but he calms the meeting did not involve being a surrogate for the Trump campaign. Which is something like saying the sheriff was off duty and acting as a civilian when he spoke to a judge about a case that he would later testify on. How would anyone but the sheriff and the judge know what the conversation was about?
The Washington Post contacted 26 members of the armed service committee and asked if any of them had met with Kislyak in 2016. Of the 19 who responded to the question, all 19 said they did not meet with the Russian ambassador in 2016, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona. The remaining members did not respond to the Post’s question.
Last week, California Republican Darrell Issa, told Bill Maher during an interview that he didn’t believe Sessions, a political appointee, should be in charge of the investigation on Russia, and a special prosecutor would be necessary.
Franken said, that Sessions, could not, in good faith, “oversee an investigation at the Department of Justice and the FBI of the Trump-Russia connection, and he must recuse himself immediately.”