Here’s Why the Sessions Scandal is a Huge Deal & His Excuse Makes No Sense

It hasn’t even been two months since Donald Trump was sworn into office, yet we’re already looking at the real possibility that another member of his administration (and one of his leading supporters throughout his campaign) could be forced to resign from his position after getting caught lying about contact with Russian officials.

As most have probably heard by now, controversial Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be in quite a lot of trouble after reports proved he lied under oath to Congress when he denied having contact with any Russian officials during the 2016 election.

After Senator Al Franken (D-MN) brought up intelligence reports alleging that people associated with Trump’s campaign had contact with Russian officials, Sessions said:

“I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Well, we now know that was a blatant lie. Not only did Sessions have contact with Russian officials, he did so twice. According to justice department officials, Sessions met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak once in July during the GOP convention and again at his office in September. According to U.S. intelligence officials, Kislyak is considered to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters.

Sessions is claiming he didn’t lie because there’s nothing wrong with a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee meeting with a Russian official. However, as the Washington Post found out, apparently no other members of that committee met with Kislyak last year. So why out of all 26 senators who serve on that committee does it seem as if Sessions was the only person to meet with Kislyak?

It goes back to what I’ve been saying for months now, these ties Trump has to Russia aren’t all “a coincidence.”

Think about this. We now know that two top people close to Trump lied about their contact with Russian officials. This all comes on the heels of an election where the most pro-Russian candidate in history, a man who staunchly refuses to say a single negative word about Russia, was helped by a Russian cyber attack clearly aimed at helping elect him president. This also goes along with the infamous dossier put together by a former MI6 spy that not only seems to have been accurate when it said some individuals within Trump’s circle had contact with Russian officials, but also alleges Vladimir Putin has information he’s using to compromise our current Commander-in-Chief.

But all is well, right? Sessions has now agreed to recuse himself from any potential investigation into ties between Donald Trump and Russia.

You see, that proves how shady he is.

For weeks there have been calls for Sessions to recuse himself from any potential investigation into these Russian allegations against Trump, yet he seemed unwilling to do so — until now. Even though he had these two meetings with a top Russian spy, and he knew he lied under oath, he still acted as if he could serve as an honest and impartial participant into an investigation concerning possible treason between Trump and Russia. Only after he was caught committing perjury in front of Congress has Sessions now said he’ll step aside if any investigation takes place.

That in and of itself disqualifies him to serve as attorney general. Especially when his office is claiming that he doesn’t remember what was discussed during his private September meeting with Kislyak.

You can’t be the top law enforcement official and lawyer for the United States when, not only did you get caught lying under oath to Congress, you only agreed to recuse yourself from a potentially highly controversial investigation after this bombshell of a story broke. That’s unethical on two grounds. Not only did he commit perjury, but he then tried to conceal his dishonesty until he no longer was able to.

In this country, you can do a lot of jobs, even within our government, as someone with less than ideal character. But what you can’t be is the top law enforcement authority and lawyer in this country and get caught committing perjury in front of Congress.

Furthermore, how does Sessions not remember what was discussed? In September, it was already well known that Russia was trying to interfere in our election. You’re telling me a then-United States senator sitting on the Armed Services Committee would take a meeting with the ambassador from a country that our intelligence agencies knew had attacked us — but he didn’t make sure to pay close attention to what the two men discussed?

And if that’s true, then Sessions is too incompetent to be our attorney general.

The spin he’s trying to put on this story doesn’t make any sense. His exact words when asked by Sen. Franken about any contact between people associated with Trump and Russian officials were, “I did not have communications with Russians” — right after he said he had been called a “surrogate” for the campaign. He didn’t say he wasn’t aware of any non-elected member of Trump’s campaign having contact with Russians. He didn’t say he had a meeting with the Russian ambassador as a member of the Armed Services Committee. He said “I did not have communications with Russians.”

Republicans are trying to spin this as Democrats making something out of nothing, but that’s ridiculous. Our current attorney general, under oath, lied to Congress by saying “I did not have communications with Russians” when we now know he held two meetings with a man believed to be one of Putin’s top spies.

While the reaction from Trump, the GOP, and their supporters has been a joke, this isn’t.

We’re now looking at the reality that two of Trump’s top people have been caught lying about communications with Russian officials. Moreover, this is during a time where mounting allegations (along with Trump’s pro-Russian behavior) continue to point toward the very real possibility that our current president may have colluded with an enemy to undermine our election.

And to think, we’re finding all of this out despite the fact that Donald Trump and the GOP are doing everything they can to undermine media reports and avoid conducting actual investigations into what really happened.

That brings up another very simple question: If Donald Trump and the Republican Party truly believe there’s nothing to any of this, and there’s nothing to hide, then why are they doing almost everything they can to undermine the media reports and avoid conducting a thorough investigation to “prove” there isn’t?

Innocent people don’t tend to lie under oath, get hostile and defensive about information they claim is categorically not true, and criticize investigations that would prove their innocence.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Clearly, Donald Trump is desperate to hide something, and I think it’s only a matter of time before we find out what that is.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Eg Kbbs

    In some ways, it appears that Sessions tried to pull a Gonzales but wasn’t able to pull it off:

    ““I’m not aware of any of those activities….”

    So close to evading responsibility by testifying that “I don’t remember” and a bad memory isn’t a crime.

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