The New York Times reports: Democrats escalated their demands late Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government after a disclosure that Mr. Sessions himself spoke with the Russian ambassador last year, seemingly contradicting his testimony at his confirmation hearing.
And some Democrats went further, suggesting that Mr. Sessions had perjured himself and demanding that he resign.
“Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader. “There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians.”
But the Trump administration rejected the accusations as partisan attacks, and Mr. Sessions said in a statement issued shortly before midnight that he had not addressed election matters with the ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak.
“I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign,” Mr. Sessions said. “I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.” [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports, “Officials said Sessions did not consider the conversations relevant to the lawmakers’ questions and did not remember in detail what he discussed with Kislyak.”
This is the definition of obfuscation.
Sessions claims to have a clear recollection of what was not spoken about yet doesn’t recall the actual content of the conversations.
Moreover, his denial of discussing “issues of the campaign” is narrowly circumscribed.
When he says, “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign,” he appears to be referring to the prearranged purpose of such meetings since it’s reasonable to assume that such officials would not show up unannounced.
Once face to face, however, whether the conversation in parts then pertained to the campaign, that’s a possibility Sessions leaves open and also conveniently obscures with his blanket failure of recollection.
This morning, he continued attempting to weasel his way out of the corner he’s in, mindful perhaps that even inside the Trump administration — but outside the Oval Office — publicly exposed liars can be forced to resign.
NBC News reports:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied meeting with any Russian officials during the course of the presidential election to talk about politics, he told NBC News in exclusive remarks early Thursday.
“I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign,” he said, “and those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false. And I don’t have anything else to say about that.”
When asked about the calls by Democrats to recuse himself from investigating any alleged ties between Trump’s surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, Sessions added: “I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself. There’s no doubt about that.”
Since Sessions and his staff claim they’re having trouble piecing together the details about these conversations, perhaps the FBI can help them out through the findings of its counterintelligence investigation on contacts between Russian officials and Sessions.
At the end of the day, what may prove more consequential than the conversations themselves was that then-Senator Sessions, testifying under oath, purposefully misled his fellow Senators.
“Sessions claims to have a clear recollection of what was not spoken about yet doesn’t recall the actual content of the conversations.”
Killer comment. Right now we’re wading through a ‘cover-up worse than the crime’ phase — see for example, Josh Marshall’s response at TPM. But it’s critically important to keep an eye on the triggering event, which as you devastatingly imply, is not as uninterpretable as has been assumed.