Constituents Urged Intelligence Committee to Have Jeff Sessions Testify Publicly on Russian Election Interference

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  • David Vance

Common Cause members were on the phone early today from Maine to Arizona urging their representatives on the Senate Intelligence Committee to have Attorney General Jeff Sessions testify publicly tomorrow on alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and the Administration’s efforts to stifle the investigation of possible collusion. The Committee announced a short time ago that Sessions would testimony publicly.

Russia conducted a large-scale attack on the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help elect Donald Trump and the President and his staff have gone to great lengths to, at the very least, downplay the attack and the extensive contacts between Trump’s inner circle and members of the Russian government and its state intelligence apparatus.

Sessions was scheduled to testify before the committee tomorrow but whether that testimony would be heard in an open or closed session was not decided until a short time ago.

“The testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions is too important to American’s faith in our democratic process to be conducted behind closed doors,” said Paul S. Ryan, Common Cause Vice President for Policy and Litigation. “Our 800,000 members across the country are deeply concerned about the attack by the Russian Government on our democracy and the Trump Administration’s knee-jerk denials that it occurred at all despite the unanimous conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that the attack did in fact occur. Our membership is deeply disappointed in the heel-dragging by Congress in investigating this attack on our national sovereignty by a hostile foreign power. In no uncertain terms, Common Cause members were telling their representatives in Congress this morning that it is long past time to put the good of the nation before the good of any political party.”  

Common Cause members contacted their Senators on the committee to demand that at least part of Sessions’ testimony take place in open session. For reasons of national security some of Sessions’ testimony must be taken in a closed hearing, but in the interest of an accountable government, Common Cause urged the committee to make its investigation more transparent.