Does President Trump expect the American people to accept any action or statement, no matter how inappropriate, as long as he merely says he is right? Will every inappropriate and unethical action be countered by him saying that it’s “fake news?”
Mr. Trump’s administration has a Russia problem. Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied about his dealings with Russia and he did it under oath during his confirmation hearing. It is a politician’s natural reaction to deny embarrassing things but this president and his hand-picked cabinet members have trampled upon the truth more, in less than 100 days, than the Clinton administration did in eight years.
AG Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice last year, but when questioned about it in Congress during his confirmation hearing he said he “did not have communications with the Russians” during the presidential campaign.
He now admits that he spoke with Kislyak in July and September of 2016. A spokesperson insisted that Sessions, a former senator, did not lie when he denied the communications to the Senate Judiciary Committee or when he said, “I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign.” to NBC News
The statement to NBC was a hair-splitting evasion meant to explain away his false statement at the confirmation hearing. He answered a question not asked. You can expect a lot more of that. He also said he would recuse himself “whenever it’s appropriate.”
The top law enforcement officer in the nation who cannot speak the truth should not decide whether he will investigate his own alleged ethical transgressions and perjurious statements. It is completely unacceptable.
A spokesperson from the Department of Justice stated that Sessions’ communications with the ambassador were part of the normal course of his work as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Why didn’t he say that during the confirmation hearing?
Twenty members of the Senate Armed Services Committee reported to the Washington Post that they did not meet with the Russian ambassador in 2016 and one member, Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), said that she hasn’t met a Russian ambassador in 10 years, and that speaking to an ambassador is under the purview of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee not the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Thursday that the FBI so far is not cooperating with the House investigation, and said he wants a special prosecutor in place of Sessions.
I predict Sessions will tap James Comey, who announced just before the presidential election that the FBI had reopened its investigation of Hillary Clinton, to be the investigator. I also predict a Comey nomination for the Supreme Court if there is a vacancy. This is Russia-gate.
The White House denounced the accusations about Sessions and claimed they were “the latest attack against the Trump administration by Democrats.” This doesn’t explain why prominent Republicans are upset and calling for Sessions to recuse himself from a Russia-related investigation.
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was forced to resign as Trump’s national security adviser after it was revealed that he discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador before Trump entered the White House and then subsequently lied about it.
The false-faced attitude of the administration is very troubling. “Given AG Sessions’ false statements about contacts with Russia, we need a special counsel to investigate Trump associates’ ties to Russia.” stated Senator Ron Wyden (R-Ore.).
Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader in the House, stated, “After lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the attorney general must resign.”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said at a town hall, “If there is something there (about ties to Russia) and it goes up the chain of investigation, it is clear to me that Jeff Sessions, my dear friend, cannot make that decision about Trump.”
Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) called on Sessions, “a former colleague and a friend,” to recuse himself from a Department of Justice investigation.” Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) also said Sessions should recuse himself.
Did Sessions commit perjury? Professor Laurence Tribe, an expert on the Constitution, tweeted that it, “looks like it to me: it was a knowing & deliberate falsehood made under oath on a clearly pertinent matter.”
Will the White House have the DOJ do the right thing? Only if the people demand it. It is becoming increasingly clear that Comrade Trump has no intention of telling the truth unless he is forced to do it.
Has he explained why he was investigated for fraud by New York State or why he still won’t release his tax returns? Don’t expect the truth for the next four years unless the people rise to the occasion and demand it.