Here’s the attorney general of the United States committing perjury: pic.twitter.com/CgxrXAT3RS
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) July 21, 2017
If a bombshell report released last night by the Washington Post is correct, the nation’s top government attorney may soon find himself on the receiving end of a perjury investigation.
According to that report, then-Senator Jeff Sessions discussed electoral and policy issues with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on at least two occasions while serving as a top foreign policy advisor to the Trump presidential campaign.
However, Sessions’ testimony to Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee is directly at odds with the latest report. A transcript of their exchange reads, in relevant part:
Franken: If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?
Sessions: Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.
Sessions has maintained his innocence regarding Russian contacts during the campaign, saying on one occasion that he had no recollection of discussing an April encounter with Kislyak. On another occasion Sessions admitted contacting Kislyak but denied their discussions had anything to do with the campaign.
The Post’s report, based on anonymous current and former U.S. officials with knowledge of Kislyak’s intercepted communications, appears to contradict multiple of Sessions’ comments–including some comments, like the Franken-exchange–made under oath. U.S. spy agencies regularly monitor the communications of senior Russian officials regardless of their geographic location.
President Donald Trump seemed to confirm the reporting, tweeting angrily earlier this morning:
A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey’s, must stop!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
As the Trump White House is highly unlikely to go after one of their own, it’s presently unclear who would be tasked to take up the reins in any possible perjury investigation targeting Sessions.
[image via screengrab; video courtesy @bubbaprog/Twitter]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]