It seems that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may be in a spot of trouble, having allegedly perjured himself during his sworn testimony while being questioned by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) last January, the New Republic reports. We now know this thanks to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential campaign.
During Sessions’ confirmation hearing, Franken asked:
“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?”
“Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of these 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 tried to deny this claim during another Senate hearing last month, telling Franken he “conducted no improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding the campaign or any other item facing this country,” Raw Story reports.
What Did Sessions Know?
And now this evidence points to former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last month to lying to FBI agents in January and February. Papadopoulos served on a foreign policy committee that was overseen by Sessions.
The evidence revealed by Papadopolous’s signed guilty plea shows that he corresponded with Russian agents, promising to provide them with stolen campaign information on Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and he tried on numerous occasions to set up meetings between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
The former foreign adviser also informed other committee members, as well as Trump, about his contacts with Russia during a meeting on March 26, 2016, where he proposed to make arrangements for Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet.
CNN’s report noted that Trump “didn’t say yes and he didn’t say no.”
But Sessions, then a Republican Senator in Alabama and the chair of Trump’s National Security team, quashed the idea, said one source who attended the meeting. Another source corroborated the information.
Papadopoulos’s guilty plea also shows that he continually tried to arrange a meeting between campaign officials and Russia all the way up until at least August 2016.
Recent revelations about Papadopoulos’s behavior has shocked some former members who attended the March 2016 meeting.
J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman and Trump campaign national security adviser who attended the meeting, told CNN that he was “surprised to learn this week what George Papadopoulos was up to during the campaign.”
“He obviously went to great lengths to go around me and Sen. Sessions,” Gordon said.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump doesn’t remember the specifics of the meeting, and that the committee that Papadopoulos was a part of only met once.
“It was a brief meeting that took place quite some time ago. It was the one time that group ever met,” she said.
But CNN reports that Papadopoulos attended an additional campaign policy meeting, but in this instance, Trump wasn’t present. Sessions, however, did attend, and he and Papadopoulos sat next to each other, reported one source who was present at the time, according to The Washington Post.
All in all, there were actually five or six meetings of the National Security Committee. Papadopoulos attended two, whereas Trump only attended one.
And Raw Story notes that since there’s no evidence to refute Gordon’s earlier claim, it leaves Sessions in an unpleasant situation, no matter how you look at it.
“The good news for Sessions is that he can plausibly claim to have opposed any Russian collusion,” writes New Republic’s Heet Jeer. “The bad news is that, in making those claims, he opens himself up to charges of perjury.”
So, unironically and unsurprisingly, another one of Trump’s racist and homophobic hand-wringing minions might be charged with a crime. But at least Sessions might have Papadopoulos and former campaign manager Paul Manafort to keep him company. Who else from the Trump administration clown car might join him?
In the video below, you can watch the fireworks between Sessions and Sen. Franken during last month’s Senate hearing.
Featured image by Reflect via YouTube video