Earlier tonight, officials with the Department Of Justice told reporters that newly minted Attorney General and former Senator Jeff Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the United States at least two times in 2016, during his time as an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign. That’s counter to testimony that Sessions himself gave under oath earlier this year, when Senator Al Franken asked him whether he’d had any contact with any member of the Russian government during the election. “I’m not aware of any of those activities,” Sessions responded. “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.” (This is all per The Washington Post.) The strong implication is that Sessions lied under oath about talking to the Russians, although it leaves the question: Is perjury such a big deal?
It is indeed, according to young Senator Jeff Sessions, speaking about President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1999. Past-Sessions seems pretty upset that Clinton lied under oath, promising a fair trial while calling the allegations “severe.” “No one is above the law,” he adds, before noting that “The president has gotten himself into this fix.” At the time, Clinton was being publicly investigated for crimes relating to extra-marital sex in the Oval Office; meanwhile, one of Sessions’ meetings with the Russians apparently happened in September 2016, when alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. election was at its height.
A spokesperson for Sessions has denied claims that he may have been untruthful to Congress, saying, “There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer.” She resisted the urge to quibble about the meaning of the word “is”.