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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 3, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 09
Pants on fire: Jeff Sessions lied to Senate committee

He should resign, Nancy Pelosi says
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Pants on fire: Jeff Sessions lied to Senate committee

He should resign, Nancy Pelosi says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings, the Washington Post revealed on March 1.

In response to a question from Democratic Sen. Al Franken, Sessions denied any knowledge of contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, and specifically denied that he, himself, had any conversations with Russian officials.

'I'm not aware of any of those activities,' Sessions replied, when asked during the hearing whether he knew about contacts between Russia and Trump's associates.

'I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians,' Sessions added.

According to the Washington Post, however, Sessions had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, once in July 2016, and again in September.

Sessions and Kislyak spoke as Russia was ramping up its hacking campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her associates.

Even Republicans reacted with shock to the news.

'Misleading the Senate in sworn testimony about one's own contacts with the Russians is a good way to go to jail,' Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, said in a March 1 tweet soon after the Washington Post story broke.

Top Democrats called on Sessions to resign as attorney general.

'It is inconceivable that even after Michael Flynn was fired for concealing his conversations with the Russians that Attorney General Sessions would keep his own conversations secret for several more weeks,' Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said in a March 1 statement.

'Attorney General Sessions should resign immediately, and there is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commission to investigate this issue.'

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also issued a blistering call for Sessions' resignation.

'Jeff Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing before the Senate,' Pelosi said in a statement.

'Under penalty of perjury, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee, 'I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians.' We now know that statement is false.

'Attorney General Sessions has never had the credibility to oversee the FBI investigation of senior Trump officials' ties to the Russians. That is why Democrats have consistently called for Sessions to recuse himself from any oversight of the investigation.

'Now, after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the attorney general must resign. Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign. There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal, and financial connections to the Russians.'

Even Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a personal friend of Sessions', called for the attorney general to recuse himself from supervising the investigation into Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Graham told CNN that 'for sure you need a special prosecutor' to head the investigation if Sessions indeed spoke with the Russian ambassador.

Sessions spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said, 'there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,' claiming that Sessions' conversations with Kislyak were in his capacity 'as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee,' and not as a Trump campaign operative.

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