Despite strong opposition by Senate Democrats, Jeff Sessions was confirmed earlier this month as the Attorney General of the United States. During his confirmation hearings, the focus of most tough questioning was Sessions’ purportedly racist past – a past which was decried by Senators Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and others as disqualifying.
However, racism was not the only topic on which Sessions was questioned. Senators also grilled Sessions about hid prominent role on the Trump campaign, and whether or not he would be able to investigate claims of Russian interference. When asked point blank about whether Sessions himself had had any recent contact with the Russians, Sessions responded, “I did not have communications with the Russians.”
Turns out, this was a lie. As reported by the Washington Post, “Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.”
Continues the Post, “The previously undisclosed discussions could fuel new congressional calls for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI, which have been leading investigations into Russian meddling and any links to Trump’s associates. He has so far resisted calls to recuse himself.”
Not only should a special counsel be appointed for purposes of investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, but an independent inquiry into Sessions’ lies should also be conducted. With the public already questioning the independence of the FBI after James Comey injected himself into the 2016 election, such an inquiry is needed in order to maintain (or perhaps restore) the faith of the public in the integrity of Justice Department.