WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal released the following statement after it was reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his meetings with Russian officials:
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath. For that, he must resign. Despite swearing to tell the truth, Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he ‘did not have communications with the Russians.’ Last night, it was reported that in fact, Sessions spoke to the Russian ambassador during the campaign.
“At minimum, it is the duty of the Attorney General to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. By lying to Congress, under the penalty of perjury, Jeff Sessions failed at his duty even before he took the job. He is unfit to serve in his position and cannot be trusted to oversee any investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
“We are not yet two months into Trump’s presidency, but this is the second time a high-ranking official of his administration has been caught lying about communications with the Russian government. We still don’t know the full extent of Russia’s grip on the Trump administration. We need a fully independent, bipartisan investigation of Russia’s influence on the White House and the 2016 election – a responsibility that Jeff Sessions cannot be trusted to carry out.”
Last year, during the Attorney General’s confirmation hearing, then-Senator Sessions was asked by Senator Al Franken what he would do if we learn that anyone with Donald Trump’s campaign communicated with the Russian government. Sessions replied, “I’m not aware of any of those activities.” He continued, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.” Last night, it was reported that Sessions in fact met twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Issues: Government Reform & Ethics