Sessions is Proven to be a Liar Again—and This May be the Final Straw

by Mark Sumner –

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is either the most forgetful man on the planet, or the most deceitful. Either way, he’s not fit to be the attorney general.

Standing before reporters in February, President Trump said unequivocally that he knew of nobody from his campaign who was in contact with Russians during the election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told the Senate the same thing.

Court documents unsealed this week cast doubt on both statements and raised the possibility that Mr. Sessions could be called back to Congress for further questioning.

It’s not just that Sessions was personally present at a meeting between Trump and George Papadopoulos where the 29-year-old adviser informed the room that he was working to arrange a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin. It’s not just that those present recall Sessions personally intervening to tell Papadopoulos to shut up about the topic.

At a March 31, 2016, meeting between Mr. Trump and his foreign policy team, Mr. Papadopoulos introduced himself and said “that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin,” according to court records.

“He went into the pitch right away,” said J. D. Gordon, a campaign adviser who attended the meeting. “He said he had a friend in London, the Russian ambassador, who could help set up a meeting with Putin.”

Mr. Trump listened with interest. Mr. Sessions vehemently opposed the idea, Mr. Gordon recalled. “And he said that no one should talk about it,” because Mr. Sessions thought it was a bad idea that he did not want associated with the campaign, he said.

It’s that the one thing Sessions did not do was to tell Papadopoulos to stop working on arranging meetings between Russia and the Trump team.

The Trump campaign—from Trump, to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to Trump’s attorney—have tried to diminish the impact of Papadopoulos by noting that the campaign’s foreign policy group only had that one official meeting. But that was far from Papadopoulos’ only contact with the campaign, or with Sessions. It was just one event in a long series that shows the Trump campaign was conducting a nearly constant effort to make and expand connections with Russia.

Among the people mentioned in Papadopoulos’s Statement of Offense are several different individuals and groups within the campaign staff: “the Campaign Supervisor” (identified as Sam Clovis), “the High-Ranking-Official” (identified as Paul Manafort), “the Other High-Ranking-Official,“ ”the Senior Policy Adviser,” ”another Foreign Policy Adviser,” ”several members of the campaign’s foreign policy team.” If any of those individuals or groups included Jefferson Sessions, then he’s a liar dozens of times over.

The statement of offense covers only a small fraction of Papadopoulos’s conversations with the campaign, just enough to establish the facts about his false statements to the FBI. Even within that limited scope, all the groups above received multiple communications from Papadopoulos specifically on the topics of communicating with Russia, obtaining “dirt” on Clinton from Russia, and setting up meetings with the Russian government.

Jefferson Sessions was in charge of Trump’s foreign policy group. There were dozens—at least dozens—of emails from Papadopoulos on the topic of Russian meetings. Many of those emails were sent directly to either “members of Trump’s foreign policy team,” “another Foreign Policy Adviser” or “the Senior Policy Adviser.” It seems impossible that Sessions was the direct recipient of at least some of these mails.

Others, including Clovis and Manafort, were contacted over and over on the topic. It seems equally hard to believe that they wouldn’t pass at least some of these notes along to the person who was nominally in charge of both Papadopoulos and the topic he was forwarding.

And then there was Carter Page, who testified on Thursday that he also informed Sessions that he was making a trip to Russia. That meeting and that trip also seem to have slipped Sessions’ mind.

Which shouldn’t be surprising, since Sessions’ failed to report at least two meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in which the two discussed campaign issues.

Sessions did not disclose either meeting when he applied for his security clearance. He also did not mention it when he was asked about contact with Russians during his Senate confirmation hearings earlier this year. Sessions denied any campaign-related meetings with Russians at the confirmation hearings, saying, “I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Sessions has made multiple appearances before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and on every appearance he’s had to admit to more … forgetfulness. The idea that he’s simply lying about something that was a major topic within the campaign is always met with a bristling defense of his affronted “honor.” But that defense, which was tissue thin to begin with, no longer applies.

No one owes Jefferson Sessions the benefit of the doubt. No one should be stopped by his hand-waving protestations or his attempts to talk over all questions. He lied. Then lied. Then lied, and lied and lied. He has simply lied about everything related to Russia, until evidence forced him to “remember” what he’d conveniently forgotten.

In fact, it’s hard to think of a single instance in which Sessions told the truth. Which is not a property we can afford in an attorney general. No matter how much Jefferson Session may want to stay in a position where he can destroy Civil Rights, it’s time for him to go.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos