For just a moment, let’s travel back in our time machine to January of 1999. Bill Clinton was president and being impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica Lewinsky matter. Then Senator Jeff Sessions had this to say:
“I am concerned about a president under oath being alleged to have committed perjury. I hope that he can rebut that and prove that did not happen. I hope he can show that he did not commit obstruction of justice and that he can complete his term. But there are serious allegations that that occurred.”
Now we flash forward to Tuesday when Sessions, now the Attorney General of the United States, repeatedly told members of the House Judiciary Committee that he couldn’t recall, remember, or recollect all kinds of meetings on the subject of Russia during the 2016 campaign. Sessions also contradicted things he had said in previous sworn testimony, meaning he too committed perjury.
A former Watergate prosecutor has come forward to suggest that Sessions has indeed committed perjury on multiple occasions and will be charged with that — and other– crimes by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
MSNBC host Ari Melber asked Nick Ackerman Tuesday afternoon:
“Did Jeff Sessions roll the ball further away from perjury by the way he defended himself today?”
“No, I think he brought it closer to perjury. Perjury’s a very difficult crime to convict people of, because you’ve got to get in the person’s mind as to whether they were telling the truth.”
The former prosecutor also noted three times that Sessions lied under oath:
- Sessions falsely claimed at his confirmation hearing that he “didn’t recall” meeting with any Russians. In reality, he met with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak three times.
- As attorney general, Sessions sent a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) declaring unequivocally that he never had any contact with Russian officials.
- Sessions “denied any knowledge about any [Trump campaign] surrogates having any contact with Russia.” We know that to be untrue thanks to campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, who said they informed Sessions they planned to travel to Russia.
Later in the interview, Ackerman told Melber:
“What you have are just outright here is three blatant lies. It’s hard to explain it away by mistake or lack of recollection.”
As for Sessions trying to dodge questions by saying he didn’t remember, Ackerman commented:
“I think he was just trying to stonewall this straight through, hoping that the whole thing would go away.”
Stonewalling won’t work with Robert Mueller and a grand jury. And it now looks like Sessions has lied his way right into multiple counts of perjury.
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