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Attorney General Sessions Under Fire for Meeting With Russian Ambassador During Campaign Without Disclosing When Asked

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When a Senator, Sessions Met Twice With Ambassador Considered to Be a Top Russian Spy but Did Not Disclose During His Confirmation Hearing to Become Attorney General

In an article published Wednesday evening, the Washington Post reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had spoken with the Russian Federation’s ambassador to the United States during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign last summer and fall. He is now under fire for not having disclosed those meetings while under oath.

During his Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing January 10, Sessions was asked by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the 2016 campaign. Sessions responded telling Franken and other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: “I’m 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.”

A spokesperson for the Attorney General told the paper Wednesday that Sessions was acting as a member of the Armed Services Committee, not as a Trump surrogate, when he spoke with the ambassador, and was not trying to mislead fellow senators when he said during his confirmation hearing that he had not had contacts with the Russian government. 

According to the Post, Sessions had two separate meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, one of which, according to Justice Department officials speaking to the paper, was a private meeting last September. The earlier meeting was at a function last July hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.. Sessions was approached informally by Kislyak and a few other ambassadors also in attendance at the event.

The September meeting occurred during the time period that U.S. Intelligence officials were informing the Obama administration and senior Congressional leadership, along with the Senate Intelligence Committee, that there was evidence of Russian influence and hacking efforts in attempts to interfere with the U.S. presidential election. 

“There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,” Dept. of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said. She added that the Attorney General did not consider his conversations with the ambassador relevant to the committee’s questions and said that he did not remember their discussion in detail. Flores noted that as a senior member of both the Senate Judiciary as well as the Senate Armed Services committees, he regularly met foreign ambassadors.

Kislyak is considered by U.S. Intelligence to be a Russian spy and a top recruiter of spies.

Flores also added that Sessions was “unaware” that his communications were under the scrutiny of the FBI during that same time period the bureau was investigating the Russian interference of the campaign last fall. 

“If it’s true that Attorney General Sessions met with the Russian ambassador in the midst of the campaign, then I am very troubled that his response to my questioning during his confirmation hearing was, at best, misleading,” Franken told the Washington Post in a statement on Wednesday.

The Post report has fueled immediate calls for Sessions, who oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, to appoint a special prosecutor to take control of any investigations into Russia’s election interference efforts.

However, some are asking for his resignation. In a conversation Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for House Democratic Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, said that she feels that Sessions lied under oath and is demanding his immediate resignation.

In a statement issued late Wednesday night, Sen. Sessions said “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”

UPDATES:

Top Democrats Call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Resign Amid Accusations of Perjury

WATCH: Jeff Sessions Issues On-Camera Carefully-Worded Denial

 

Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at Brody.Levesque@thenewcivilrightsmovement.com

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

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News

82-Year-Old Black Woman Arrested and Handcuffed by Alabama Police Over $77 Unpaid Trash Bill

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Martha Menefield, an 82-year-old Black woman in Valley, Alabama, had police officers show up to her home on Sunday and arrest her for failing to pay a $77 trash bill, CBS42 reports.

Menefield told CBS42 that she thought the bill had already been paid, “but they said it hadn’t.”

“And the cuffs,” she said, her eyes swelling with tears. “They’re so heavy.”

When the officer told her not to cry, Menefield asked him, “How would you feel if they came and arrested your grandmama?”

IN OTHER NEWS: Pennsylvania Republicans change their tune on mail-in voting after getting pasted twice in a row

“I’m just happy my grandkids weren’t here to see that,” Menefield said, her voice shaking. “That would have upset them. I was so ashamed. And it’s been bothering me.”

In a post on the city’s social media account, Valley’s police chief defended the arrest.

“City of Valley Code Enforcement Officers issued Ms. Menefield a citation in August of 2022 for non-payment for trash services for the months of June, July, and August,” Chief Mike Reynolds’ statement said. “Prior to issuing the citation, Code Enforcement tried to call Ms. Menefield several times and attempted to contact her in person at her residence. When contact could not be made, a door hanger was left at her residence. The hanger contained information on the reason for the visit and a name and contact phone number for her to call. The citation advised Ms. Menefield that she was to appear in court on September 7, 2022, in reference to this case. A warrant for Failure to Pay-Trash was issued when she did not appear in court.”

Since the arrest, Menefield has been thinking about the role of God in her life.

“I’ve been questioning God a little bit,” she said. “I guess cause I’ve been so upset. I had a daycare here for eight years, and I’ve been asking the Lord. I say ‘Why did this happen to me as much as I’ve done for people, Lord? I’ve paid my tithes every Sunday. I ushered at church. I was just questioning. Something’s just not right.”

Read the full report over at CBS42.

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Another Happy Jobs Day’: Economists Thrilled With ‘Amazing’ Report as Jobs Growth Beats Expectations, Wages Increase

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The Biden economy added a whopping 263,000 jobs last month, crushing expectations of 200,000, and wages are growing as well, leading one economist to declare “another happy jobs day.”

The U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adds that unemployment remains at a near-historic low of 3.7% in November, “and has been in a narrow range of 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent since March.”

University of Michigan School of Economics Professor Justin Wolfers exclaimed, “It’s yet ANOTHER happy jobs day. Payrolls rose +263k, well above expectations.”

“This expansion just keeps on rolling on,” added Wolfers, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

RELATED: ‘This Is a Very Strong Economy’: Experts Cheer October Jobs Report – Blast Those Claiming ‘Recession’

Wolfers also takes on those who have been falsely pushing “recession” talking points.

“BTW, remember all that recession talk? It was nonsense. Bollocks. Cow dung,” he tweets. “There never was a recession. And the economy sure doesn’t look like it’s in one now. Job growth at this rate is the economy singing: ‘This is a robust expansion.'”

And he also slams the doom and gloom forecasters.

Economist David Rothschild sums up where the Biden economy is compared to the rest of the world.

IN OTHER NEWS: ‘This Is Nazism’: Americans Outraged After Kanye West Praises Hitler – ‘This Is Not a Clown Show. It’s Dangerous’

“Economy is far from perfect,” he writes, “but conditional on the worldwide pandemic and supply chain issues generated from pandemic: US economy has done *amazing* over last 2 years.”

In news alerts The New York Times reported hiring “continued to exceed expectations,” The Wall Street Journal called it “a sign of continued strength in the labor market,” and even Fox News reported it as “stronger-than-expected.” CNN referred to the jobs report as “robust” and “defying expectations.”

“America’s jobs engine kept churning in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, a show of continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s push to curb inflation by tamping down hiring, The Times reported. “The labor market has been surprisingly resilient in the face of successive interest rate increases by the Fed over the past year. Even sectors normally sensitive to borrowing costs, like construction and manufacturing, have been slow to back off the brisk pace of growth they posted coming out of the pandemic.”

The BLS also broke down unemployment numbers by demographics.

“Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (11.3 percent), Whites (3.2 percent), Blacks (5.7 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (3.9 percent) showed little or no change over the month.”

 

Image: Matt Smith Photographer / Shutterstock

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BREAKING NEWS

‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master

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A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.

The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.

Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.

RELATED: In Trump’s ‘Special Master’ Appeal 2 of 3 Judges Are Ones He Appointed – and Both Previously Ruled Against Him

CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts  “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”

“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”

“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”

READ MORE: ‘Roughing Him Up’: Judges Scorch Trump’s Attorney in Tense Hearing Over His ‘Secret’ Argument

They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”

“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”

 

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