Jeff Sessions takes his seat on Capitol Hill at his confirmation hearing (AP/Alex Brandon)

Democrats call on Jeff Sessions to resign as attorney general for not disclosing meetings with Russia

Democrats say Sessions "lied under oath" and must to step down


Matthew Sheffield
March 2, 2017 6:16PM (UTC)

Congressional Democrats are calling for the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions after news broke that he had failed to mention in his confirmation hearing that he had held discussions with a top official from the Russian government.

"Jeff Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing before the Senate." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign."

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Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren also called for Sessions to step down.

"We need Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who should have never been confirmed in the first place — to resign," she said on Twitter.

At issue is a statement made by the former Alabama senator during his confirmation hearing when he was asked about allegations that some members of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump had been in contact with officials from the Russian Federation.

"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 communications with the Russians," he said.

The Department of Justice released a statement saying Sessions had not deceived Congress because the meetings he had with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. were in his former capacity as a member of the Senate, not as a member of the Trump campaign operation.

“He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign — not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee,” the statement said.

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The attorney general released his own personal comment on the situation late Wednesday evening

"I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign," he said. "I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false."

Al Franken, D-Minn., the senator who had asked Sessions about possible Russian contacts released his own response, calling Sessions' response "at best, misleading."

"It’s clearer than ever now that the attorney general cannot, in good faith, oversee an investigation at the Department of Justice and the FBI of the Trump-Russia connection, and he must recuse himself immediately,” Franken said.


Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via m.sheffield@salon.com or follow him on Twitter.

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