AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

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AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby toucana on March 2nd, 2017, 10:20 am 

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing demands for his resignation after it emerged last night that he misled a congressional confirmation hearing in January over his prior contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election campaign

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39136118

While facing intense scrutiny over his suitability for office during the congressional confirmation hearings, Sessions was explicitly asked by Sen Al Franken (D-Minn) what he would do in his capacity as attorney general if “anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign” was found to have communicated with Russian officials. Sessions said he was “not aware of any of those activities.”

“I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians,” he asserted.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nancy-pelosi-jeff-sessions_us_58b7ab1fe4b0284854b3fc0e?section=us_politics

According to a report published last night by the Washington Post however, Mr. Sessions and Sergey Kislyak the Russian ambassador held private meetings in both July and September of last year. The fact that these meetings took place has been confirmed by officials at the Department of Justice, and they are troubling because his meetings with Mr Kislyak came while Sessions was a prominent part of Mr Trump's campaign team - a so-called surrogate - and amid growing reports of Russian meddling in the US election.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/na ... 344d9fef4f

Apologists for Mr. Sessions are trying to suggest that it wasn’t unusual for him to be speaking to foreign ambassadors because he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The problem is that no one can find any examples of other members of that same committee who also met with foreign ambassadors like Kislyak, nor is there any good explanation as to why it would have been a good idea given that there was already a toxic miasma developing over Russia’s alleged meddling in the US election campaign - meddling that was highlighted when Donald Trump himself asked during a campaign rant on 27 July 2016 if the Russians could supply the missing 35,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s account.

At the very least it now appears that Mr Sessions was being ‘economical with the truth’ when he told the confirmation hearing that he had not had any contacts with Russian officials during the campaign.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) has called for Attorney General Sessions to resign immediately because he lied under oath while under penalty of perjury during his confirmation hearing before the Senate.

Sen. Franken who questioned Sessions during the hearings has now called on Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation into Trump’s ties with the Russian government.

A number of commentators such as Norman Eisen, the former Chief Ethics adviser in the Obama administration have likened the position of AG Sessions to that of a predecessor - Richard Kleindienst who was forced to resign as US Attorney General and pleaded guilty in 1974 to failing to testify fully to the Senate in a pre-Watergate investigation, involving alleged favoritism shown to International Telephone & Telegraph Corp, during his testimony in his Senate confirmation hearings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Kleindienst
Last edited by toucana on March 2nd, 2017, 11:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby Braininvat on March 2nd, 2017, 10:30 am 

Kleindienst means "little service" in German, so we shouldn't have expected much from him.

Sessions was not "economical with the truth," he flat out lied. Keep it up, and we'll have a massive shift away from the GOP in the 2018 congressional races.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby someguy1 on March 2nd, 2017, 5:15 pm 

I haven't seen red-baiting like this since the 1950's. Here is the left's argument:

P1: I saw you entering the restaurant during its business hours last week.

P2: I have no way of knowing whether you robbed the restaurant.

C: You committed treason.

The fallacy is that it's perfectly legal to enter a restaurant during its business hours. And there is no evidence anything illegal occurred.

There is nothing illegal about talking to Russians. Otherwise I'd be in trouble for speaking to the Russian guy at work.

If the Dems had a substantive argument, they'd make it. They don't, so they go with innuendo and smears.

For the record I'm no fan of the drug war hence no fan of Sessions. But if you have evidence he did something illegal, bring it.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby Forest_Dump on March 2nd, 2017, 5:30 pm 

someguy1 wrote:But if you have evidence he did something illegal, bring it.


A:

toucana wrote:US Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing demands for his resignation after it emerged last night that he misled a congressional confirmation hearing in January over his prior contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election campaign


B:

toucana wrote:I did not have communications with the Russians,” he asserted.


C:

toucana wrote:Mr. Sessions and Sergey Kislyak the Russian ambassador held private meetings in both July and September of last year. The fact that these meetings took place has been confirmed by officials at the Department of Justice,


According to this, Sessions was aksed if he met with the Russians (A). Sessions said no (B). The Department of Justice confirms he met with the Russians twice in provate meetings (C). Therefore, either the Department of Justice is lying or Sessions is lying at the congressional confirmation hearings. Whats missing?

(Sorry about the quotes)
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby Forest_Dump on March 2nd, 2017, 5:47 pm 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the guy is the next Rosenberg, Philby or Snowden. Maybe he was just trying to get hockey tickets. But why would he lie to a congressional hearing when he is trying to be confirmed for AG? I suppose we expect any and all lawyers to lie but, well, really?
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby someguy1 on March 2nd, 2017, 6:20 pm 

Former CIA director John Brennan lied to Congress too. For some reason the Democrats didn't get worked up over that. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ied-senate

Perhaps the outrage over lying to Congress is selective and political.

I don't like Sessions much. I wouldn't shed any tears if he had to resign. But if the Dems want to do well in 2018 and beyond, they're going to have to do something more than whip up a new cold war with Russia.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby Braininvat on March 2nd, 2017, 6:31 pm 

Partisans tend not get worked up when one of their own lies. So, yes, of course outrage is selective and political, because most people are waving a foam finger for their "team." As an Independent, I come from a place of despising the mendacity on both sides.

It's not partisan to see a real lie when someone says they had no political contact with Russia and then read, "Mr Sessions and Mr Kislyak held a private conversation in Mr Sessions's office in September...." You wouldn't arrange such a meeting to debate who was the better chess player, Fischer or Kasparov. And you wouldn't deny the meeting ever happened, if that had been the meeting's purpose, would you?
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby Forest_Dump on March 2nd, 2017, 6:36 pm 

someguy1 wrote:Former CIA director John Brennan lied to Congress too. For some reason the Democrats didn't get worked up over that.


Okay I will agree that they should have. But the Trump campaign has been all about being different. Seems they are not. Seems they want another confirmed lier on the team.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby toucana on March 2nd, 2017, 6:39 pm 

BREAKING NEWS - According to CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has now recused himself from any investigation related to President Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/02/politics/democrats-sessions-russia-resignation-call/index.html

The million dollar question on many lips today was this - If these sorts of meetings are routine, then why the evasion? Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked this exact question at a press conference on Thursday morning - "If there was nothing wrong, why not come clean and tell the entire truth". He is now pushing for Sessions to resign.

Claims by aplogists that it is routine for senators to meet ambassadors in this way have come under keen scrutiny.. The Washington Post contacted 26 members of of the Senate Armed Services Committe. Six members did not respond, but none of the 20 who did had met the Russian ambassador within the last year.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) tweeted today:
"I've been on the Armed Services Committee for 10 years. No call or meeting with Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of the Foreign Relations Committee."
On a couple of occasions between 2013-15 when she did meet with the Russian ambassador, she says those meetings were not in her capacity as a committee member, and were never one-to-one.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-39145661
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby toucana on March 2nd, 2017, 7:10 pm 

Someguy1 wrote: - Former CIA director John Brennan lied to Congress too. For some reason the Democrats didn't get worked up over that.

Quite a few CIA directors have lied to congressional committees over the years, most notably Richard Helms (DCI 1968-73) who was subsequently prosecuted and pleaded nolo contendere to a charge of misleading a Congressional confirmation hearing in 1973 over the CIA's role in covert actions in Chile. It was a Senate Intelligence Committee led by Democrat Frank Church (D-ID) in 1975 that exposed him incidentally.

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

Richard Helms became the only DCI to be prosecuted for perjury in respect of his actions in office. He later candidly admitted that he considered it to be part of his higher duty under his oath of office as intelligence director to mislead even the president himself if he felt it was in the national interest to do so.

The point however is this: It is one thing to accept that your DCI might need to be a plausible and congenital liar, it is something else for your government's Attorney General, the highest legal officer in the land to be one as well.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby zetreque on March 2nd, 2017, 7:59 pm 

Braininvat » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:31 pm wrote:Partisans tend not get worked up when one of their own lies. So, yes, of course outrage is selective and political, because most people are waving a foam finger for their "team." As an Independent, I come from a place of despising the mendacity on both sides.


Whenever someone doesn't agree with the so called right, they are labeled as a left rather than an independent. Too much black and white thinking because people are stuck watching TV or reading forwarded emails from their circles rather than living in the real world these days having thoughts of their own.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby Eclogite on March 3rd, 2017, 5:51 am 

toucana » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:10 pm wrote:Richard Helms became the only DCI to be prosecuted for perjury in respect of his actions in office. He later candidly admitted that he considered it to be part of his higher duty under his oath of office as intelligence director to mislead even the president himself if he felt it was in the national interest to do so.
I would have thought, as you suggests, that a demonstrable track record in lying convincingly would be a key requirement on the CV of the head of any intelligence agency.
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Re: AG Sessions Censured Over Russian Contacts

Postby vivian maxine on March 3rd, 2017, 10:25 am 

A voice from across the pond - reported in USA Today Breaking News:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said allegations involving Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, are "reminiscent of a witch hunt," Russian state media reported Friday. His remarks came after sharp criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for failing to disclose meetings with Kislyak last year, when he was a senator and President Trump's campaign adviser. "Countries appoint ambassadors in order to maintain relations, this is done through meetings, conversations and contacts with state officials and legislators," Lavrov said, according to the TASS news agency. Sessions stepped aside Thursday from overseeing the continuing FBI investigation into Russia's interference in last year's election.

Make of it what you will. Just his opinion.
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