In light of the recent evidence published by The Washington Post on Wednesday, March 1st, Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, called on recently appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign right away. The evidence in question shows that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador to the United States at least twice during the presidential election of 2016, despite the fact that Sessions testified under oath that such meetings never took place. Pelosi called for Sessions’ resignation when it became clear that he perjured himself on the stand.
Pelosi went on to say that Sessions wasn’t fit to be the highest-ranked law enforcement official in the United States, and that a bipartisan effort from a third-party commission must investigate the entire Trump administration for other connections with the Russians, including personal, political, or financial connections, of which there are sure to be many.
Sessions denied the meetings between himself and the Russian ambassador ever took place, yet their is sufficient evidence to show that Sessions met with the ambassador on two separate occasions before he was chosen for attorney general. At the time, he was working on the Trump campaign, and he just so happened to be the closest foreign policy adviser that Trump had in his staff. However, when asked about his connection with the Russians during his attorney general confirmation hearing, he responded that he did not have any communication with Russian officials in any capacity.
Sessions was reached for comment regarding this turn of events, but he only offered a single excuse that is both highly inadequate and fairly obviously dishonest. He claimed that he simply didn’t remember what was discussed when he met with the Russian ambassador, and that he didn’t mention those instances because he deemed them irrelevant. Unfortunately for Sessions, his decision that the meetings were irrelevant did not change the fact that they occurred at all, and that means he lied to the American people under oath out of either simple neglect or purposeful dishonesty.
Pelosi claims that if Sessions was able to lie so easily about such a thing, then there is no question about whether or not he should be allowed to be part of the investigation into the Trump campaign’s connection to the Russians. She went on to say that these recent revelations cement the fact that Sessions has no credibility, and that his obvious shortcomings in the position of attorney general are only going to become more obvious. Democrats have been constantly calling for Sessions to either resign his position entirely or at least recuse himself from any investigation regarding the Russian involvement in the recent presidential election.
Lindsay Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina, asked that a special prosecutor be appointed if it were ever realized that Sessions actually did have contact with the Russian ambassador, as he previously testified he had not. Graham did so because perjury is a punishable offense on the federal level. According to many who have followed these events, even those on the Republican side of the aisle, Sessions could possibly receive prison time for his crime.
It is unclear whether or not Sessions will actually resign as a result of these revelations, but if he does, he will not be the first official in the Trump administration to do so as a result of connections with the Russians. Trump has been president for less than two months, and the first official to resign was Michael Flynn. He resigned when it became clear that he had misled the administration about his connections with the Russians, except he didn’t lie under oath as Sessions did.