Democrats Call On Sessions To Resign Over Meetings With Russian Ambassador

AP

Following the revelation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice while he was a surrogate for President Donald Trump’s campaign, Democratic lawmakers called on Sessions to step down.

Democrats also doubled down on their calls for an independent investigation into contacts between Trump associates and Russian officials before the 2016 election.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called for Sessions to resign Wednesday night, citing that he failed to disclose at his confirmation hearing that he met with a Russian official during the campaign.

“Now, after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign. Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign. There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians.” Pelosi said in the statement.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, also called for Sessions to resign.

“It is inconceivable that even after Michael Flynn was fired for concealing his conversations with the Russians that Attorney General Sessions would keep his own conversations secret for several more weeks. When Senator Sessions testified under oath that ‘I did not have communications with the Russians,’ his statement was demonstrably false, yet he let it stand for weeks — and he continued to let it stand even as he watched the President tell the entire nation he didn’t know anything about anyone advising his campaign talking to the Russians. Attorney General Sessions should resign immediately, and there is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commission to investigate this issue,” Cummings said in a statement.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) published several tweets blasting Sessions and calling on him to step down from his role as attorney general.

Several other Democratic lawmakers also called for Sessions to resign.

Some Democrats called for Sessions to recuse himself from any probe related to Russia but stopped short of calling on him to step down.

“If reports are accurate that Attorney General Sessions — a prominent surrogate for Donald Trump — met with Ambassador Kislyak during the campaign, and failed to disclose this fact during his confirmation, it is essential that he recuse himself from any role in the investigation of Trump campaign ties to the Russians. This is not even a close call; it is a must,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement.

“It’s time for the Attorney General to immediately step aside from any investigation involving ties between President Trump and Russia. Reports that Trump advisor Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador to the United States twice last year, but failed to disclose those contacts when specifically asked during his confirmation hearing, are cause for great concern,” Rep Eric Swalwell (D-CA), wrote in a statement.

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who asked Sessions about contacts with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing, said that he plans to ask Sessions more about his contact with Russian officials.

“When then-Senator Jeff Sessions testified under oath during his confirmation hearing to become attorney general, he explicitly told me that he had not been in contact with Russian officials in the course of the presidential campaign. But according to a report from the Washington Post, he actually met with the Russian Ambassador during that time period. If that’s true, then I am very troubled that his response to my questioning during his confirmation hearing was, at best, misleading,” Franken said in a statement.

“The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened between Russia and the Trump team, and I believe we need thorough and impartial investigations to get to the bottom of it,” he added. “It’s clearer than ever now that the attorney general cannot, in good faith, oversee an investigation at the Department of Justice and the FBI of the Trump-Russia connection, and he must recuse himself immediately.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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