Another day, another revelation about the Trump-Russia connection. This time, it has emerged that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice last year with the Russian Ambassador to the United States. Despite this, Mr. Sessions stated at his confirmation hearing that he “did not have communications with the Russians.” A little while ago, I reported on Donald Trump’s “Russian Dossier” and expressed my belief that it was false. With the latest allegations however, perhaps it is time to, once again, review what we know about Donald Trump and Russia.
First lets talk about about the latest allegations, against Jeff Sessions. It’s pretty simple actually. He testified to Congress that he had not met with Russian officials, while in truth he had. He lied, plain and simple. Whether or not those meetings were of any consequence is unclear, but lying about it suggests, at the very least, a serious lapse in judgement on the part of Mr. Sessions. It is not common for individual Senators to hold closed door meetings with foreign ambassadors, which Mr. Sessions did on one occasion. A growing number of Congressional members, both Democrat and Republican, are calling for Mr. Sessions to at least recuse himself from the ongoing inquiry into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Many are calling for his resignation. It is important to note that this is very much the same sort of scandal, evening involving the same Russian official, that lead to the removal of General Michael Flynn.
The striking similarity to the Flynn case is indeed what makes this new development so damaging and shocking. It dramatically raises the suspicion that Sessions’ meetings with the Russian Ambassador went beyond his official capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. But these are not the only two cases of contact between Trump’s associates and Russian officials during the campaign. In mid-February, both the New York Times and CNN reported extensive contacts between numerous members of both Trump’s team and the Russian government. As stated by CNN, it was “both the frequency of the communications during early summer and the proximity to Trump of those involved” that raised the suspicions of the US law enforcement and intelligence communities.
Everyday more and more of the allegations made in Trump’s “Russian Dossier” are shown to be be true, at least in part. The time has come for a full Congressional inquiry into the matter. The administration, which, through the Department of Justice, currently oversees the investigation, cannot be trusted to remain impartial in this case. The American people deserve a full, clear, clean, independent investigation into the connections between Donald Trump, his election, and the Russian government.