Sessions’ Secret Sessions with Russia

Sessions Secret Sessions with Russia

Maddy Avni, Staff Writer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have called for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions has concealed and lied under oath about two meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States. He has recused himself from any future investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the recent presidential election, but many top Democrats argue that this is not enough to prevent corruption and that he should step down completely. Sessions insists that his meetings with the ambassador were harmless, but their occurrence was not disclosed to the Senate.


During Mr. Sessions’ confirmation hearing, he denied contact with Russia, specifically stating that “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.” However, this has since proven false, as he has admitted at a press conference to meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak on two occasions. Many have taken this to mean that he lied under oath at his own confirmation. In his own defense, Mr. Sessions has stated, “In retrospect, I should have slowed down and said, ‘But I did meet one Russian official a couple of times, and that would be the ambassador.’ ” He now maintains that his meetings with Kislyak were to discuss American policy and lawmaking, and were standard to any member of the Senate committee (at the time of the meetings, Sessions was a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee).


Although Mr. Sessions may claim that the meetings had nothing to do with President Trump, they did take place while he was advising Donald Trump on foreign affairs on the campaign trail, which many consider suspicious. The fact that neither meeting was disclosed to the Senate or at the confirmation hearing only adds to the confusion surrounding the events. This opacity has led to distrust and anger from leading Democrats and even a few Republicans. Amid the controversy, Sessions has agreed to recuse himself from taking part in investigations into Russia’s suspected involvement in the 2016 presidential election. The recusal is a step forward, but many argue that it is not enough to prevent corruption.


In response to Mr. Sessions’ admission, both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have called for his resignation. Mr. Schumer has recommended that a special prosecutor or prosecution committee be sought out to investigate the matter further. “There cannot even be a shred of connection,” he argued, between the U.S. Attorney General and the Kremlin. Pelosi, meanwhile, thinks that he should be required to resign because he lied under oath at the confirmation hearing. “Now, after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign,” Pelosi said. She also called for “an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians.”
No matter your political leanings or opinion on this matter, the fact is that our government grows more opaque by the day. As information put out in the news becomes more confused and “fake news” abounds (or does it?), information within the government becomes just as jumbled. Without transparency inside and out, we cannot possibly begin to “Make America Great Again.”