Jeff Sessions in 1999 speaking on the importance of prosecuting Bill Clinton over perjury allegations pic.twitter.com/LCV6AqZB17— Lee Fang (@lhfang) March 2, 2017
Update: During a press conference on March 2, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.
BREAKING: Attorney General Jeff Sessions will recuse himself from investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.— The Associated Press (@AP) March 2, 2017
Original Story: On March 1, the Washington Post published a bombshell report alleging that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath during his congressional nomination hearing. The report claims that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, twice last year — despite insinuating neither he nor anyone associated President Donald Trump's campaign was in contact with Russian officials when probed by Sen. Al Franken during the hearing.
"I am not aware of any of those activities," Sessions said during Franken's questioning. "I have been a called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with Russia." Sessions, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, met with Kislyak on Sept. 8. Since the Washington Post's report, Sessions has maintained that he "never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign." Critics are pointing to the narrow and specific wording of that statement as grounds for suspicion.
Justice Department officials told the Post that Sessions' September meeting with Kislyak was predicated on his role as an Armed Services Committee Member. However, the Post surveyed the 26 members of that committee to ask whether they'd met with Kislyak last year. The 20 who responded to their inquiry said they had not — including Senator John McCain.
The Post's report also alleges Sessions met with Kislyak in July after a Heritage Foundation event that coincided with the Democratic National Convention. The problem here is not that Sessions met with Kislyak, although it's suspicious given the charges of Trump's ties to Russia, but that he lied to the senate committee. This is why a video of him decrying President Bill Clinton for perjury is so relevant.
At the very least, Sessions must recuse himself from the Justice Department's investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election. It's impossible for that inquiry to be unbiased given that the nation's highest legal official is also embroiled in the controversy. Even Republican Justin Chaffetz, who chairs the Congressional Oversight and Government Committee and has repeatedly sided with Trump's administration, has called for Sessions to recuse himself.
AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) March 2, 2017
In the above clip, Sessions lambasts the then President Bill Clinton for allegedly lying under oath, which he himself is now accused of. "I hope he can show he did not commit obstruction of justice," Sessions said in the clip. "In America, the Supreme Court and the American people believe no one is above the law."
Now would be a fantastic time for Sessions to heed his own advice and recognize he is not above the law either.