Even President Trump now refers to him as “beleaguered,” and the description surely fits Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The president took to Twitter shortly before 9 this morning to complain about the man he put in charge of the Justice Department. “So why aren't the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?” Trump asked.
Meanwhile, one of Sessions’ old antagonists on Capitol Hill, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, suggested that the Senate Judiciary Committee haul Sessions in to testify about a published report that he discussed matters related to Trump’s presidential campaign last year with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.
Sessions has denied engaging in such discussions, but then he also initially denied having any meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. After reporters learned otherwise, Sessions was forced to amend testimony given during his confirmation hearings and acknowledge meeting Kislyak at least twice. The attorney general continues to insist that the meetings were part of his duties as a senator from Alabama however, and unrelated to his role as a campaign adviser to Trump.
Against that backdrop, a new Washington Post report that intelligence agencies tracking Kislyak overheard the ambassador telling his bosses in Moscow about his meetings with Sessions – including conversations about the Trump campaign - makes a slam dunk case for a new Senate hearing and more questioning for Sessions.
Sessions was Trump’s first prominent backer in Congress and a close adviser to the candidate last year, leading to his appointment to head the Justice Department.
But after reports about his meetings with Kislyak led Sessions to recuse himself from Justice Department investigations into Russia’s interference in last year’s U.S. election, the president turned on his old friend. Trump told The New York Times last week that he never would have appointed Sessions as attorney general had he known Sessions would stay out of investigations of what Trump calls “the Russia thing.”
The Times interview and Trump’s tweets stop just short of a presidential demand for Sessions’ resignation, but the attorney general said last week that he intends to stay in office “as long as that’s appropriate.”
In a CNN interview broadcast Sunday, Franken asserted that Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-IA, agrees with him that Sessions should testify.
“I guess someone in Kislyak’s position can sometimes distort what he says when he is reporting back to build himself up,” Franken said. “I also saw in those reports that Kislyak isn’t that type. And it seems to me that since Attorney General Sessions hasn’t been terribly truthful regarding these things that it’s more likely that what Kislyak was saying was the case.”
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Voting and Elections
Tags: Sessions Watch