New Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not reveal at least two communications with the Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to America. and calls now pile up for him to “recuse himself” from any investigation of what increasing numbers call questionable, illegal and possibly traitorous contacts with a sworn enemy of the United States.
The calls for him to back away come not only from Democrats but Congressional Republicans have broken ranks and joined the opposition party in saying Sessions is now a damaged official whose actions require, at least, “clarification.”
Others say Sessions committed perjury and should resign. Some suggest his actions could be “treasonous.”
Republican Kevin McCarthy of California told the MSNBC ‘Morning Joe” program that Sessions should recuse himself.
“I think — the trust of the American people — you recuse yourself. For any investigation going forward, you want to make sure everybody trusts the investigation,” McCarthy says.
“AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself,” said Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz on Twitter Thursday.
“Jeff Sessions is a former colleague and a friend, but I think it would best for him and the country to recuse himself from the D.O.J. Russia probe,” says Sen. Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio.
Democrats say Sessions perjured himself at his confirmation hearings and must resign. Some say privately that what Sessions did could be acts of treason.
“For the good of the country, Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
“Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officers of our country and must resign,” says House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. “There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians.”
Republican Congressional sources tell Capitol Hill Blue that the “r-word” has come up in private discussions among the party’s leaders and several Republicans say they worry about damage from Sessions’ actions.
“Have the then-nominee to become Attorney General lie to Congress and to his colleagues is unwise and raises legitimate questions about the fitness of Mr. Sessions to hold the office,” a close aide to a Republican leader said Thursday,
The Trump administration, led by a President who routinely withholds information from and lies to Congress and the public, dismisses the outcries from both Democrats and Republicans as “partisan attacks.”
“I never me with any Russians officials to discuss issues of the campaign,” Sessions claims. ‘I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
White House insiders, however, says that Sessions’ claim that what is claimed he did is, in itself, false.
“A classic non-denial denial,” says one GOP aide. “Jeff Sessions forgets that it isn’t the initial lie but, instead, it is the cover-up lies that could take him down.”
The lies lies and questionable contact with Russia took down national security advisor Michael T. Flynn in March. He misled Vice President Mike Pence, Congress and others.
In confirmation hearing for Sessions, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota asked the AG designate about contacts by surrogates of the Trump campaign with Russia.
Sessions claimed he was “not aware” of any such contacts.
“I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign,” Sessions replied, ‘and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
On Wednesday of this week, the Justice Department acknowledged Session have direct communications with the Russian ambassador, first during the Republican National Convention in July after he gave a speech for ambassadors sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and a second time in September when Ambassador Kislyak came to his office in Washington.
A Justice Department official admitted that some comments about the election could have occurred in the office meeting in September and acknowledged Sessions and the ambassador discussed relations between the U.S. and Russia along with issues both countries faced.
“Given the very public and controversial statements by nominee Trump about his feelings towards Russian leader Putin and the issues of hacking and leaks, it would seems natural that the campaign would come up in their meeting and discussion,” said one DOJ source.
Sessions’ statements in his hearings were “demonstrably false,” says Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland and ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.
Cummings said Sessions should resign because he lied to Congress.
“There is no longer any question that we need a independent commission to investigate this issue,” he adds.
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