Rep. Mike Quigley made it very clear: Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath on at least three separate occasions, and he needs to answer for it "once and for all."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lied under oath repeatedly, and Democrats are demanding that the nation’s top law enforcement official finally start telling the truth.
During his confirmation hearing, Sessions was emphatic in his denial of contact with Russian agents during the campaign. “I did not have communications with the Russians,” he insisted — a claim quickly proven to be false.
Months later, Sessions again lied under oath, this time to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, though he was less assertive about it.
“I don’t believe so,” Sessions said when asked by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain if he had had any contacts with any representative of any Russian company during the campaign.
And most recently, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions was again evasive and misleading, claiming he hadn’t seen or heard anything “that would indicate collusion with Russians to impact the campaign.”
But as the latest revelations in this constantly expanding scandal show, all of Sessions’ past claims, whether assertive or hedging, were lies.
Unsealed court documents show that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign official who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents regarding communications with Russian agents, “pitched a potential summit to Sessions and [Donald] Trump” between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As Illinois Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley said on CNN in no uncertain terms, Sessions has “perjured himself at least three times.”
“To me, Mr. Sessions deserves his time in the chair again before the House and Senate committees to answer these questions once and for all,” Quigley added.
Quigley’s concerns echoed those of Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who sent a scathing 8-page letter to Sessions, calling him out for his repeated lies and potential harm to national security arising from them.
“Once again, developments in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election have brought to light evidence that you failed to tell the truth about your interactions with Russian operatives during the campaign,” Franken wrote, noting that this was “another example in an alarming pattern” for Sessions, “the nation’s top law enforcement office.”
The interference by a hostile foreign power in our nation’s elections represents an attack on democracy itself. As our nation’s chief law enforcement office, you have sworn to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,’ and to ‘bear true faith and allegiance to the same.’ Your oath of office, and indeed our national security, require that you speak with a clear and consistent voice when discussing what you know about any Russian efforts to influence the 2016 campaign, including any links between individuals associated with the campaign and Russian operatives.
“The American people deserve a complete and accurate accounting of the facts,” Franken declared.
And as he put it succinctly, Sessions “either has a terrible memory or he is deliberately not telling me the truth.”
Even Sessions’ fellow Trump campaign crony Carter Page is making his dishonesty clear as daylight, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that he did in fact tell Sessions of his trip to Moscow in late 2016.
Sessions may be taking his lead from Trump and assuming that he as long as he keeps sticking to his lies, no amount of facts or evidence will matter.
But Trump’s Twitter feed is a terrible place to go for lessons on ethics and the rule of law.
And the country’s top law enforcement officer ought to know that better than anyone.