Intelligence Intercepts Indicate Sessions Lied About Why He Didn’t Disclose Russia Contacts

by Zack Ford – He said it was about his role as a senator. New evidence suggests it wasn’t. According to U.S. intelligence interceptions detailed by a Washington Post report, when then-U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year during the campaign, the two discussed various campaign-related matters and policy issues important to Moscow. That’s based on intercepted reports Kislyak delivered to his superiors back in Russia after each of the two conversations he had with Sessions, who now serves as President Trump’s attorney general. Though it’s of course possible that Kislyak may have mischaracterized or exaggerated what was discussed in the meetings, the U.S. officials who spoke to the Post said that the former ambassador had a reputation for accurately relaying details about his meetings with government officials. The new report also jibes with a report from someone who was in attendance at the Republican National Convention, where...

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With Sessions Under Renewed Fire, Trump Claims ‘Complete Power to Pardon’

by Jon Queally – Any attempt by Trump to pardon his way out of  stewing controversy, says one critic, would create a “constitutional crisis that would make Watergate look like a minor event.” In the wake of new reporting indicating U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have provided “misleading” statements about his discussions with Russia’s Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account Saturday morning to assert his “complete power to pardon” even as he dismissed the latest revelations. Donald J. Trump   ✔@realDonaldTrump While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS 7:35 AM – 22 Jul 2017 On Friday evening, the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence agencies have communication intercepts of Kislyak in which the ambassador describes how he and Sessions had “substantive” discussions that went beyond what the Attorney General has indicated...

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In a Time of Madness, Sally Yates Is a Profile in Courage

by MICHAEL WINSHIP – The fired acting attorney general proved this week that there are still a few in Washington who believe in truth and the law. Let us now praise a class act. Amidst the turmoil of another chaotic week in Trump world, the Comey firing and a pandemic of Washington spinelessness, there was a certain righteous symmetry that occurred Sunday night and Monday afternoon. On Sunday, former President Barack Obama received the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award from the Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation. In his acceptance speech, Obama reflected on those public servants who, in the face of opposition, hold onto their principles and somehow keep alive their resolve, he said: “… To maintain a reputation for integrity that is stronger than a desire to maintain office, a conscience, personal standard of ethics, integrity, morality that is stronger than the pressures of public disapproval or party...

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If Sessions Had Nothing to Hide, Why Did He Try to Hide It?

by MICHAEL WINSHIP – There’s something out there that has a lot of people scared, but no one’s telling the full story. Yet. For months and weeks, bits and pieces of the continuing saga of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence and its influence on the 2016 elections have been dribbling out, thanks to leaks and solid reporting by a free and independent press. Eventually we may get to the whole truth, but already it seems clear that deep down, all these secrets coming to light, one by one, are part of a greater, as yet unrevealed, wrong. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo had just the right metaphor: “Astronomers can’t see black holes directly. They map them by their event horizon and their effect on nearby stars and stellar matter. We can’t see yet what’s at the center of the Trump/Russia black hole. But we can tell a lot about...

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5 Critical questions Trump Needs to Answer about the Russian Ambassador’s Covert Trip to Trump Tower

by Jen Hayden – On the heels of the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (and lied about it under oath) leading up to the election—and so did a number of other key advisers—the New York Times followed up with this huge development: The New Yorker reported this week that Mr. Kushner had met with Mr. Kislyak at Trump Tower in December. Hope Hicks, a White House spokeswoman, confirmed on Thursday that Mr. Flynn was also at the meeting in response to questions from a New York Times reporter. Trump’s trusted son-in-law Jared Kushner (who, despite nepotism laws, is serving as senior White House adviser to Donald Trump) personally met with Kislyak at Trump Towers the very week President Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia related to the Russian hack of DNC emails servers. More on the meeting from the New York Times: “They generally discussed the relationship and it...

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Carter Page Reverses Story, Says He Met Russian Ambassador. And CNN Says Kushner Did Too

by Troutfishing – Last night came news of another 180 degree reversal from a Trump campaign surrogate concerning meeting the Russian ambassador. Now, it’s Carter Page, and his story reversal may be a bigger deal than that of Jeff Sessions, because of the oil. Russian oil to be exact. Back to that in a moment. But first — even as news broke yesterday of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ admission that he met twice with Russian Ambassador Kislyak during the 2016 election, Trump campaign advisor Carter Page reversed his story — he had previously denied, to NPR’s Judy Woodruff, meeting Kislyak. Now, Page has divulged to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that he had met the Russian ambassador last Summer in Cleveland. Cleveland, you say ? Oh, how interesting — because it’s just been revealed by the Wall Street Journal, that while Jeff Sessions says he met Kislyak in Cleveland last Summer and claims...

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