Thursday Reads: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Must Resign

4221396001_5344692652001_5344663214001-vs Good Morning!!

Another day, another massive tRump scandal. Late last night The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last year, encounters he later did not disclose.

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race….

When Sessions spoke with Kislyak in July and September, the senator was a senior member of the influential Armed Services Committee as well as one of Trump’s top foreign policy advisers. Sessions played a prominent role supporting Trump on the stump after formally joining the campaign in February 2016.

At his Jan. 10 Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign.

“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Sessions also lied in response to a written question from Senator Patrick Leahy:

In January, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Sessions for answers to written questions. “Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” Leahy wrote.

Sessions responded with one word: “No.”

Ambassador Kislyak

Ambassador Kislyak

Sessions first claimed he couldn’t remember what he spoke to Kislyak about; later he said it wasn’t anything to do with the campaign. So which is it: he doesn’t recall or he does recall and it wasn’t relevant to the investigation of contacts between Russian officials and the tRump campaign? Session is going to have to explain and soon. I’d also like someone to explain why the Russian ambassador was the Republican National Convention where one of the meetings with Sessions took place. Is that normal? Was he at the DNC too?

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has released a statement calling for Sessions to resign. Huffington Post:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign following a Washington Post report that he spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the United States twice last year and failed to disclose it at his confirmation hearing in January.

“Jeff Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing before the Senate,” Pelosi said in a statement released late Wednesday. “Under penalty of perjury, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee, ‘I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.’ We now know that statement is false.”

Several other Democratic legislators have joined Pelosi in calling for Sessions to step down. Others have said he needs to immediate recuse himself from any investigations involving the tRump administration. Naturally, the White House is claiming this is just an attack on them by “partisan Democrats.”

Obviously, this is a fast-breaking story. Senator Chuck Schumer is holding a press conference right now calling for the DOJ to appoint a special prosecutor and for the Inspector General to open an investigation into Sessions and whether he has worked with tRump to interfere with the investigations. Schumer also stated that “it would be better for the country if he [Sessions] resigned.

Top Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy has called for Sessions to recuse himself, according to the LA Times. Even Jason Chaffetz agrees with that. Huffington Post: Growing Number Of Republicans Call On Jeff Sessions To Step Aside.

Key Republicans in Congress are questioning whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from any investigation into Russia’s role in the election. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called on the former senator to step aside Thursday amid reports that he failed to disclose conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Late Wednesday night, The Washington Post reported that Sessions spoke twice last year with the Russian official and didn’t tell tax relief lawyers during his January confirmation hearing. U.S. investigators have also looked into Sessions’ communications as part of a larger investigation into possible links between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, according to a Wall Street Journal report Thursday.

Another big story broke last night at about the same time as the Washington Post story on Sessions.

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The New York Times: Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Election Hacking.

In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence.

Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates….

Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration.

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At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.

It also reflected the suspicion among many in the Obama White House that the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia on election email hacks — a suspicion that American officials say has not been confirmed. Former senior Obama administration officials said that none of the efforts were directed by Mr. Obama.

Read the rest at the NYT.

One more story from NBC News: The White House Now Has Three Options on Russia.

The stories about Sessions have led Democratic lawmakers either to call for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation looking into Russia, or to resign because he misled Congress about his contacts with the Russian government. And now Sessions has three options — and all of them are bad.

One, he agrees to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to clean up what he said during his confirmation hearing, and to answer any and all questions about Russia. Two, Sessions bites the bullet and appoints a special prosecutor — to save himself from a committee grilling and delay the resignation calls. Or three, he digs in. But if Team Trump choose Door No. 2 and the special prosecutor, it needs to do so ASAP. Why? Because if the administration is truly clean here, it gives them time and space to be vindicated.

More at NBC News First Read.

I’m going to go ahead and post this now so you all can comment on the this breaking story. I’ll add some more links in the comment thread.

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60 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Must Resign”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I’ve said all along that this feels like the lead-up to the Watergate scandal, and that feeling is getting stronger day by day. Of course this scandal is far far more serious that anything Nixon did.

    • Fannie says:

      Ronald Reagan had more scandals, and more top people lying under oath, Iran Contra, and Federal Lobbying scandal, and EPA scandal with Korsuch. It’s one thing to lie, but under oath, it’s a crime. No means NO, and that was his final answer.

      I am proud that the dems are standing up equal justice. I hope he goes to prison, and Trump can visit him there.

      Ben Carson was confirmed, the most unqualified person to lead HUD. He’d been better leading Noah’s Ark.

      The congressional ethics office recommended that Kellyann be disciplined, and the White House said NO.

      I was glued to the 2 hour program last night. My eyes roll every time I hear the GOP spin machine, yes Sessions should recuse himself, if there were grounds for an investigation! That’s how they are rolling this morning. And Trump supporters are crying out, the dems are doing this because they know that Sessions is going to go after Hillary Clinton! And by the by, Kiven McCarthy should be investigated too, he said that the GOP was doing well by promoting all the lies about Hillary Clinton.

      I love Obama’s………now we see where he was coming from during the campaign……..both are writing books………60 million contracts………….good. I hope the photo of Putin and Obama is in the book………..if looks could kill, Putin would drop dead.

      Thanks BB, good bet that more shit is going to hit the fan.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Yes, but Ronald Reagan didn’t work with a foreign government to get himself elected.

        • NW Luna says:

          Exactly. Or have multiple high-profile campaign/administration people with frequent Russian contacts.

        • DarthVelma says:

          Yes, he did. He worked with the Iranians to keep Americans held hostage until after the 1980 election.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Oh, well then. Let’s just carry on with Trump.

            It’s not really the same thing though.

          • darthvelma says:

            bostonboomer, That wasn’t meant to be sarcastic. It’s just a pet peeve of mine that no one seems to remember that pretty much every Republican president in my lifetime committed treason to get into office.

          • Enheduanna says:

            I agree – it was treason on Reagan’s part and treason when Nixon interfered with the 68 peace talks with North Vietnam. Americans were dying over there. Neither of those presidents had genuine empathy for regular people whatsoever.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Absolutely, but I still think this is the worst scandal of my lifetime.

        • Fannie says:

          True enough!

          • Fannie says:

            Upon waking up this morning (not feeling so good)……..I had a dream about my books. I am once again downsizing the library. Anyways, I have two books on Lee Harvey Oswald, and I didn’t toss them in the donate pile. I kept them. You know, somebody didn’t like what was done in Cuba, and killed JFK. Russia, has been interfering with us, sending out disinformation, and this year they were successful beyond belief. They finally did it.

            There is an article in EIR, Vol. 14, Number 29, Jul 24, 1987 “Soviets” intensely interested in 1988 US campaign. Goes on to recognize Gorbachov, former ambassador Anatoh Dobry, and several others who started gathering up data, as to how the election works, and they didn’t understand Gary Hart…………….they have been at this for years, and this time they gave us the Trump Card.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I agree. This will make Watergate look like child’s play. There’s only one thing to do with Sessions, Lock Him Up!

      • Fannie says:

        If that happened, I would go down to ice cream shop, and order a banana split……..haven’t had one in over 10 years.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    HuffPo:

    Bush’s Ethics Lawyer: Jeff Sessions May Go To Jail If He Lied To Congress

    A law professor who served as the White House ethics lawyer under former President George W. Bush slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions over reports that he lied to Congress about his communications with Russia.

    According to the The Washington Post, Sessions spoke to the Russian ambassador twice last year and did not mention the conversations in his confirmation hearings.

    If the report is true, it’s “a good way to go to jail,” said Richard Painter, who served as White House ethics lawyer between 2005 and 2007 and is now law professor for the University of Minnesota.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Nancy Pelosi speaking now on CNN.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Oh brother. Paul Ryan is going to “address the controversy.” That should be good for a laugh.

    • Fannie says:

      Yes, first thing up at the plate is Coal Mining………Trump has stripped all regulations, because 250 millions jobs are being lost…………….(might as well said 250 m.) That way more people can get cancer and black lung disease, and families can thrive on pollution, rather than clean air and clean water. The corrupted coal mines have been selling off assets, and the reason is because natural energy is the way, regardless of how the tear down the EPA.

      It really pisses me, because the people in Kentucky are buying the bullshit.

      • Enheduanna says:

        Would be nice if the government retrained that sector for solar or wind energy jobs. I have no sympathy, though, for anyone who thinks they are entitled to a job in a 19th century industry that is actually contributing to global warming. Someone on teevee said we might as well bring back the horse and buggy industry. Bingo.

  5. Fannie says:

    Let me see if this wiki link will work” Anne Irene McGill Grosuch Burford. She was head of EPA during Reagan, and 1982 the first to be held in contempt of Congress. During her EPA Administration she “downsized federal agencies by delegating services to individual states”.

    Ted Cruz just said that Russia was a “Nothing Burger”……………good lord, seems as old Anne Irene McGill Grosuch Burford coined that phrase back in 1980’s………..They cooking it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Gorsuch_Burford

  6. NW Luna says:

  7. NW Luna says:

  8. dakinikat says:

    Did any one else see this?

    BREAKING: Trump’s Android Device Believed To Be Source Of Recent White House Leaks

    http://theseattletribune.com/trumps-unsecured-android-device-believed-to-be-source-of-recent-white-house-leaks/

    According to information from an unconnected Washington insider, President Trump, who remains leery of the federal intelligence community and is suspicious enough of career politicians that he’s accused holdovers from the Obama Administration as being the ones responsible for leaking information, decided to contract multiple private intelligence agencies to investigate the leaks.

    Initial reports from two such agencies, A.R.H. Intelligence and Z|13 Security, indicate they suspect the source of the recent White House leaks to be President Trump’s unsecured Android device.

    President Trump has received fierce criticism since his inauguration for refusing to part with his personal, consumer-grade Android smartphone while in the White House. The primary concern with President Trump maintaining his personal Android device while serving as the POTUS, is that the phone in question is probably not being aggressively protected from malware or phishing attacks/attempts.

  9. dakinikat says:

  10. dakinikat says:

  11. Pat Johnson says:

    My “obsession”is growing. I can’t not stop watching tv waiting for the next shoe to fall.

    My hope is they all go down. Thanks to Obama they were able to protect some of the stuff they were learning.

    I am now convinced that Obama held back believing – as we all did – that Hillary would win. He just never counted on Comey.

    • quixote says:

      Doesn’t really excuse his inaction in defending the US from attack after Nov 8 and before Jan 20.

      If somebody had started a shooting war in that time, would it be okay for him to say “Well, I’m retiring so far be it from me to rock the boat by defending the country”?

      Taking over the mind behind the gun is actually a bigger threat to the country than shots when we can still understand the need for defence. And the sum total of his response was to tell Putin to “cut it out” (what does he think this is? Pranks in the middle school lunchroom?!) and close down a couple of known listening posts on Long Island.

      Whenever I think about it, I’m still completely gobsmacked at his … I don’t even know what to call it. Lack of interest in the duties of a head of state? McConnell calling him partisan names wouldn’t have lasted long in the face of the evidence Obama sat on.

      Preserving the records is a good first step, which I gather was done by alert underlings on their own initiative.

      I couldn’t agree more that Agent Orange’s whole crime family and criminal administration need to be in jail.

  12. palhart says:

    These Russian connections make it all the more plausible that Putin has blackmailing evidence in a dossier on trump and he is in debt, or is obligated up to his eyeballs to Russian oligarchs. trump has given a thousand green lights to Putin to implement his plan of taking back the countries under the USSR.

  13. dakinikat says:

  14. Earlynerd says:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-politics/republicans-sessions-recuse-russia/article34183123/

    Well, BB, you did it. Sessions’ recused 🙂

    Now – can you work on getting his resignation?

  15. dakinikat says:

    Isn’t this a felony?

  16. bostonboomer says:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  17. bostonboomer says:

    Please go read this thread if you haven’t already.

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  18. NW Luna says:

  19. Fannie says:

    I was trying to think how many rallies Sessions was at with Stephen Miller (his former communications director)…………and Rudy Guilani……….he was at many rallies……Between 2015 – 2016……..

    He’s told one person that he did not know anything about Russian Hacking the election system………..yet Trump talked about wishing they would hack Hillary Clinton, and USA……..was he at that rallies. You know, damn well he know about Russia’s intent.

    I hope somebody really gives those rallies a go over, and show people that he indeed did know because they were hoping and praying for a hacking.

  20. Minkoff Minx says:

    A friend of mine found these panties at JCPenny’s:

    Check it out. I posted about it on our Facebook page and wanted to mention it here.