Mar 02 2017
Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today commented on reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions twice spoke with Russians during the 2016 campaign, a direct contradiction of Sessions’s own words—under oath—during his confirmation hearing.
Last month, all nine Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee called on Attorney General Sessions to recuse himself. Text of that letter is available here.
Senator Feinstein released the following statement:
“Reports that Attorney General Sessions on two occasions spoke with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign—in direct contradiction to answers he provided during his confirmation hearing—are extremely troubling.
“First, it’s clear Attorney General Sessions must immediately recuse himself from any and all investigations into Russian ties to the Trump campaign and interference in the 2016 election. The fact that he spoke with Russians and then, under oath, denied it is unacceptable. If the attorney general refuses to recuse himself, he should resign.
“Second, I call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate this matter. Because the attorney general is responsible for appointing special prosecutors, Attorney General Sessions must recuse himself from that process as well.
“Third, President Trump must immediately order everyone connected with his campaign and his administration to cooperate with both Senate committees now investigating this: the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee. The ties between Russia and those close to Trump are far deeper than previously admitted and it’s clear the Trump administration is in no position to handle an investigation on its own.”
Following is the exchange between Senator Franken and Senator Sessions, who is under oath, during the January 10 confirmation hearing:
Senator Franken: “If there is any evidence that any one affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?”
Senator Sessions: “Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it.”