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Trump's Attorney General in trouble over Russian connection

By Lalit K Jha
March 02, 2017 22:40 IST

The Trump Administration plunged into another crisis on Thursday after reports surfaced that United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice with Russian envoy to Washington during the presidential elections last year.

Sessions, one of the first few Republican Senators to support Trump early in his presidential race, has denied any wrongdoing, but said he would “recuse” himself from any investigation.

“I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.

The Democratic party leadership is gunning for his resignation after reports surfaced that Sessions spoke with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during the elections.

After General Michael Flynn (retired), Sessions is the second top official of the Trump Administration to face such a charge. Flynn last month resigned as the national security adviser.

Nancy Pelosi, the top Democratic leader, alleged that Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing before the Senate.

“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,” she said.

“Now, after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign. Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law
enforcement officer of our country and must resign,” she said.

“There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump’s political, personal and financial connections to the Russians,” Pelosi demanded.

Indian-American Congressman from California Ro Khanna too demanded resignation of Sessions.

“Jeff Sessions should resign. We are a nation that respects the rule of law, and he lied under oath to Congress. There must be an independent, bipartisan investigation into
Russia’s interference in our democratic process,” Khanna said.

With the Democrats demanding his resignation, the Republican party appeared to be buckling under pressure.

The House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy favoured Sessions recusing himself from any Russia-related investigations.

“I don’t have all the information in front of me, I don’t want to pre-judge, but I just think for any investigation going forward, you want to make sure everybody trusts the
investigation,” McCarthy told MSNBC.

“For weeks, I have said that Attorney General Sessions needs to recuse himself from any investigation into contact between the president and his associates on the campaign and transition, and Russia. For weeks, I made clear that I believe Attorney General Sessions’ close relationship with the Trump campaign requires that he recuse himself from the executive branch investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia,” demanded Senate Minority Leader, Charles Schumer.

“The revelations that we learned about last night are extremely troubling and raise even more questions about the president and his associates’ contacts with Russia,” he said.

 

Lalit K Jha
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