Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tammy Baldwin calls for Special Counsel in light of AG Sessions's Russian contacts

The investigation into Russian interference in our elections and government requires independent, uncompromised review

UPDATE: AG Jeff Sessions has recused himself "from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States." But he stopped short of naming a special counsel, or of saying there was the need for an independent counsel at all.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has apparently committed an act of perjury.

During his confirmation hearings, Sessions told a Senate committee that he had not been in talks with Russia or agents of Russia during the time of the presidential election.

When asked what he would do regarding investigations on members of President Donald Trump’s staff and their relationships with Russia, Sessions attempted to assuage several senators’ concerns by stating, “I didn’t have communications with the Russians.”

Now it’s been revealed that Sessions did in fact meet with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during the presidential campaign. While Sessions maintains that he didn’t “discuss issues of the campaign” with Kislyak, the fact that he tried to calm the fears of several U.S. Senators by stating he didn’t communicate with Russian envoys is causing some to allege Sessions committed perjury.

Some have suggested this is simple politicking, but the involvement of the Russians in our elections and our government is an issue that’s important to most Americans. About 53 percent of Americans want Congress to investigate the Trump administration’s connections to Russia, while only 25 percent don’t want Congress to intervene.

With Sessions now himself involved in a Russian controversy, the calls for an independent counselor to investigate the matters are growing, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin among them:
Two weeks ago, I called for Attorney General Sessions to recuse himself from Justice Department investigations and to appoint an independent Special Counsel. Now, with revelations that Attorney General Sessions had communications during the campaign with the Russian government, he must recuse himself and appoint an independent Special Counsel to investigate communications and possible ties between the Trump campaign, Trump transition team and Trump Administration, with the Russian government and individuals with connections to the Russian government.
Baldwin is absolutely spot-on. Sessions was compromised before this revelation. Now, the American people cannot expect (and will not accept) Sessions to investigate himself while also investigating the Trump administration.

A special counsel is desperately needed. And Sessions, who once called perjury a “high crime,” ought to resign from the office he currently holds. His appointment to Attorney General was based in part on the fact that he attempted to assure senators that he had no contacts with the Russians. That clearly was a lie.

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