The republican President Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions who was the former senator from Alabama, finds himself in hot water again. When he has testified in the past before his fellow senators, he has managed to evade uncomfortable questions with carefully worded statements and answers.
With recent revelations, his fellow senators want him to explain under oath certain omissions in his past testimony. It seems that the recently FBI indicted George Papadopoulos has disclosed facts about a meeting where Mr. Sessions and the president were present. The campaign foreign policy adviser was discussing how he had Russian contacts who would share their data on the democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
Then Carter Page, another foreign policy adviser has stated that he had advised Mr. Sessions about a trip that he was taking to Russia. Apparently, Jeff Sessions has not been forthcoming with this information when questioned by his former colleagues.
Here is the rest of the story…
On November 2, 2017, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb of CNN penned the following report, “Exclusive: Carter Page testifies he told Sessions about Russia trip.”
“Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page privately testified Thursday that he mentioned to Jeff Sessions he was traveling to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign — as new questions emerge about the attorney general’s comments to Congress about Russia and the Trump campaign.”
“Court documents unsealed this week cast doubt on both statements and raised the possibility that Mr. Sessions could be called back to Congress for further questioning.”
“The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, unsealed his first charges Monday (10/30/17) in a wide-ranging investigation into Russian attempts to disrupt the presidential election and whether anyone close to Mr. Trump was involved. Records in that case show that George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser, had frequent discussions with Russians in 2016 and trumpeted his connections in front of Mr. Trump and Mr. Sessions.”
“For months, journalists have revealed evidence that associates of Mr. Trump met with Russians during the campaign and the presidential transition. But the court documents represent the first concrete evidence that Mr. Trump was personally told about ties between a campaign adviser and Russian officials.”
“At a March 31, 2016, meeting between Mr. Trump and his foreign policy team, Mr. Papadopoulos introduced himself and said “that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin,” according to court records.”
He went into the pitch right away,” said J. D. Gordon, a campaign adviser who attended the meeting. “He said he had a friend in London, the Russian ambassador, who could help set up a meeting with Putin.”
“Mr. Trump listened with interest. Mr. Sessions vehemently opposed the idea, Mr. Gordon recalled. “And he said that no one should talk about it because it might leak,” he said.”
“Several of Mr. Trump’s campaign advisers attended the March 2016 meeting, and at least two of those advisers are now in the White House: Hope Hicks, the communications director, and Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser.”
“After Mr. Trump was sworn in, he could not escape questions about Russia. At a Feb. 16, 2017, White House news conference, a reporter asked Mr. Trump, “Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?”
“No,” Mr. Trump said. “Nobody that I know of. Nobody.”
“Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer (said), “the media’s willingness to inflate Papadopoulos, a young unpaid volunteer and supposed energy expert, into an important thought leader in the campaign or Russian operative is ludicrous,” Mr. Cobb said. “The evidence so far suggests he attended one meeting, said something about Russia and was immediately shut down by everyone in the room. It’s very important to remember that he is not a criminal now because of anything he did for the campaign — he is a criminal because he initially lied to the F.B.I.”
“Democrats in the Senate said on Thursday that they would push to have Mr. Sessions return to the Judiciary Committee for further questioning.”
“He now needs to come back before the committee, in person, under oath, to explain why he cannot seem to provide truthful, complete answers to these important and relevant questions,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, who is on the Judiciary Committee.”
“Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, another Democrat on the committee, pointed out that Mr. Sessions’s testimony was under oath and “wasn’t just some random comment he made in passing on the street.”
“Mr. Sessions faced similar questions in January before the Senate Judiciary Committee, when Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, asked him about contacts between the campaign and Russia. “I’m not aware of any of those activities,” Mr. Sessions said. He denied having any such contacts himself.”
“Democrats condemned those remarks as misleading when it was revealed that Mr. Sessions held meetings with the Russian ambassadorduring the campaign. Last month, Mr. Franken renewed his questioning.”
“You don’t believe that surrogates from the Trump campaign had communications with the Russians?” he asked.”
“I did not, and I’m not aware of anyone else that did,” Mr. Sessions replied. “And I don’t believe it happened.”
“He did not make any reference to Mr. Papadopoulos.”
“Mr. Gordon said that while the March 2016 meeting technically contradicted Mr. Sessions’s testimony, he defended the attorney general.”
“This is something he heard way back in March from some young man who was not authorized to speak for the campaign,” he said. “I don’t blame Senator Sessions for not remembering that.” He said that only in the political “gotcha game” could the matter be considered significant.”
“The court documents in the Papadopoulos case represent the most explicit evidence yet that Mr. Trump’s campaign was eager to coordinate with Russian officials to undermine his rival, Hillary Clinton. Federal investigators suspected that Russian intelligence services used intermediaries to contact Mr. Papadopoulos to gain influence with the campaign, offering “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Mr. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying about those contacts and is cooperating with the F.B.I.”
On Thursday, as news of Mr. Papadopoulos’s Russian ties continued to ripple through Washington, Mr. Franken sent a stern letter to Mr. Sessions. “This is another example in an alarming pattern in which you, the nation’s top law enforcement official, apparently failed to tell the truth, under oath,” he wrote.
The case against Mr. Papadopoulos was unsealed at the same time as an unrelated indictment against two other former campaign advisers, Paul J. Manafort and Rick Gates. Taken together, the three charges sent a foreboding message to a fourth adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign, Michael T. Flynn.
Mr. Flynn, one of the architects of Mr. Trump’s “America first” foreign policy, did not disclose payments from Russia-linked entities on financial disclosure documents. He did not mention a paid speech he gave in Moscow, and he belatedly disclosed, after leaving the White House, that the Turkish government had paid him more than $500,000 for lobbying services.
White House officials have long been anticipating the indictments of Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn, and have tried to distance themselves from both men. They were caught by surprise, however, by Mr. Papadopoulos’s guilty plea and the fact that he had been cooperating with the F.B.I. since July.
That cooperation agreement fueled speculation that Mr. Papadopoulos had secretly recorded his conversations with White House officials this summer. But Mr. Cobb said he had seen no evidence that Mr. Papadopoulos had visited the White House or had recent conversations with staff members.
“We have no indication that this George Papadopoulos came to this White House,” Mr. Cobb said, adding that a different person with the same name had entered the White House this year.”
“Court documents do not explain the extent of Mr. Papadopoulos’s cooperation with Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but prosecutors said they showed him emails, chat transcripts, text messages and other records “in an attempt to refresh his recollection” about his contacts with Russians and with members of the Trump campaign.”