Trump’s new Attorney General just screwed up big time. His mistake was thinking he wouldn’t get caught.
In a bombshell report, the Washington Post revealed that Sessions had spoken twice with the Russian Ambassador while he was working on Trump’s campaign while the Russian government was committing cyberwarfare against the Democrats to help Trump’s election chances. At his confirmation hearing, while under oath, Sessions denied he ever spoke to a Russian official during that time.
Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.
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.
That’s perjury. A violation of U.S. code title 18 section 1001…
(a)Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—(1)falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or(3)makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry
And section 1621:
- having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true
…is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
Sessions’ spokesperson first said the Attorney General didn’t think those conversations with the Russians were relevant. Later adding that now his official stance was “he didn’t remember.” It’s unclear if anyone in the country – with the exception of maybe Trump himself – is gullible enough to buy those flailing excuses.
Should perjury charges be taken seriously? Why don’t we ask Jeff Sessions, who once voted to convict Bill Clinton of perjury for lying about his affair.
— Evan Macbeth (@Paradox13VA) March 2, 2017
Now Sessions gets to make good on his decades old stance on perjury and resign or face the legal consequences.
UPDATE: An ethics lawyer who worked in the White House under George W. Bush has come out to say the offense is severe enough to warrant jail time.
Misleading the Senate in sworn testimony about one own contacts with the Russians is a good way to go to jail https://t.co/qH0s6sTMJ9
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 2, 2017
Featured image via Zach Gibson/Getty Images