Controversy with Attorney General Sessions' Contacts with Russian Ambassador

March 2, 2017

 

 

News broke last night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact with Russian government officials while Trump was campaigning for president. The Washington Post newspaper was the first to report it. 

 

This was revealed by the FBI/Dept. of Justice because they are investigating possible communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign team. 

 

Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak in person during the Republican National Convention last summer. They also met privately in his Senate office last fall. 

 

Sessions was a part of Trump’s campaign team as an advisor and surrogate (supporter/“spokesperson”).

 

Why is this a big deal? Last January — when Sessions was giving testimony to be confirmed as A.G. — explicitly said he had no contact with Russian officials in his capacity as Trump’s surrogate. 

 

A.G. Sessions’s spokesperson said he talked with the Russians in his capacity as a Senator, not as a Trump surrogate — and that he had contact with many other ambassadors of other countries. Sessions was unaware that his communications was under investigation.

 

Sessions himself told NBC News this morning that he has not met with Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign, that the remarks about him are false. 

 

There are calls by both Republican and Democrat lawmakers for him to rescue himself from the investigation — and strong calls from top Democrats for him to resign.

 

The White House supported Sessions, saying he was 100% straight during his confirmation testimony and there’s no reason for him to rescue himself from the investigation. President Trump said he has confidence in him and that he shouldn’t rescue himself. 

 

It is a complicated issue because Sessions as A.G. leads the Dept. of Justice and the FBI.

 

Update: Sessions announced he would rescue (remove himself) from any investigation related to the campaign of the President. He said he should have been clear and upfront that he talked with the Russian ambassador, but that he never exchanged information related to the campaign. 

 

Any final decision on any investigation related to the Trump-Russia campaign will go to the Deputy Attorney General: Dana Boente. 

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