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Atty. Gen. Sessions to again explain his incorrect statements on contacts with Russia during 2016 campaign

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, shown during June testimony on Capitol Hill (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, shown during June testimony on Capitol Hill (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Few weeks have gone by this year without President Trump’s least favorite topic, the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, surfacing in some form.

On Tuesday, even as the president flies back from his 12-day Asian trip, the subject will rise again.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify at 10 A.M. Eastern to the House Judiciary Committee. He will try to square his past assertions that he knew of no contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians with new claims in court documents and congressional testimony alleging that he did.

Sessions, who was Trump’s first senatorial endorser and a key foreign policy advisor during the campaign, got an early hint of the treatment he is likely to face when Democrats castigated him Monday from the Senate floor.

“Regrettably, Atty. Gen. Sessions, our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, seems to have a real problem with telling the truth” about his actions and those of the Trump team, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota said.

Franken went through a litany of statements Sessions had made that have now been contradicted by others in the Trump orbit. He accused the attorney general, a four-term senator from Alabama until his Cabinet appointment, of “convenient amnesia.”

“He has responded not by coming clean and admitting that his initial testimony was inaccurate but by shifting his story and moving the goalposts,” Franken said.

Vermont’s Sen. Patrick Leahy, like Franken, demanded that Sessions return to the Senate to explain the contradictions in his previous testimony.

“It’s clear that the Kremlin tested the waters with Sen. Sessions as it did with so many other Trump campaign officials,” Leahy said. “It’s equally clear the attorney general has concealed his contacts with Russian officials…He needs to come back again, and testify again, under oath.”

On three occasions Sessions has appeared before the Senate to issue denials of activity, only to have it proved later to be incomplete or wrong.

Most recently, former Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos have said that they informed Sessions of their meetings with Russians, something Sessions denied in his earlier testimony.

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