This is not a tough call. That Sessions lied is not really the issue. The question is why did he lie. He met with the Russian ambassador—this is not something one forgets, especially with in the context of the Trump campaign being quite rightly torched over its Russian connections and Russia’s transparent attempts to get Trump elected. No you do not forget about such meetings -but then why lie?
Now let us look at Session’s defense..
Sen. James Risch (R-ID) said on Thursday that he has no concerns “at all” that Attorney General Jeff Sessions could have misled or lied to a Senate committee during his confirmation hearing when he claimed that he did not have contact with Russia before the election. Asked if he had concerns that Sessions misled the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing in January, Risch told TPM: “None at all.” “No, none at all. I’m on Foreign Relations and on Intelligence,” he added, referring to the Senate committees. “In the last 24 months I’ve met with high-ranking officials from half the countries on the face of this earth. If you asked me which ones I did, I couldn’t tell.”
How does one respond to that. 1) Sessions then should have said that he needed to check 2) This is the Ambassador of Russia, not a high level official from Barbados 3) We have sanctions against Russia right now 4) This is within the context of Sessions being a leading backer of the Trump campaign – a campaign already under siege on this very issue.
Sen. James Risch, you have zero credibility. You are not a patriot – you are a traitorous opportunist desperately trying to cover up you own sins for allowing America to be put in this situation in the first place.
Meanwhile our brilliant leader has “total” confidence in Sessions. Trump said he “wasn’t aware at all” that Sessions had contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to a travel pool report. Asked if he thinks Sessions should recuse himself from an investigation into any ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, Trump said: “I don’t think so.” The President said that Sessions “probably” testified truthfully in his Senate confirmation hearing, despite Sessions’ denial at the time that he had any contact with Russia.
So Hair Twitler is just not too confident about whether or not Sessions was talking to Russia or lied to Congress.
If Sessions had just said that me met the ambassador – for whatever contrived reason, enough people would have bought that – I mean enough people bought into the absurd notion of Trump being President -so the country is overwhelmed with gullible idiots and or traitorous opportunists. So why lie? Sessions gave his testimony on Jan 10, two days later the Flynn Russian Ambassador scandal erupted—so that would surely jog Sessions memory- giving him the opportunity to correct the record.
Now he is compounding his lie, by nonsensical cover ups. He denied such meetings again, then said he met as part of his job on the Senate foreign intelligence committee -evidently on an issue that none of his Senate colleagues were privy to. So why did he lie, why does he keep lying? Josh Marshall explains…
Why are there so many unforced errors? Why conceal this meeting? Frankly, why lie about it? As I said, big, big scandals work like this. People who don’t even appear to be that close to the action keep getting pulled under for what seem like needless deceptions. The answer is usually that the stuff at the center of the scandal is so big that it requires concealment, even about things distant from the main action, things that it would seem much better and less damaging simply to admit.
i.e. everything that Al Franken referred to in his question is likely correct. Deny, deny, deny… is the only defense Trump, Flynn, Manafort, Carter Page and Sessions have. Sessions must be held to account, the entire integrity, purpose of hearings on appointees must be upheld, the notion of perjury under oath must be upheld and finally Sessions must be subject to his own opinion on the matter…
He lied… he must all go, they all lied because they are covering up far worse crimes relating to their relationship with Russia.