Just one day after Congressman Goodlatte and other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee killed a resolution requiring the Department of Justice to turn over documents on President Trump’s ties to Russia, news emerged that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a top adviser to Trump’s campaign, met twice with the Russian ambassador to the US.
Testifying under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was asked in January by Al Franken what he would do if he learned of any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign. “I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he responded. He added: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
There’s more: Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) sent Sessions an additional written question: “Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?” The AG’s one-word answer could not have been more categorical: “No.”
Sessions’s responses to these questions are at best misleading and incomplete. At worst, they would seem to demand criminal prosecution for lying under oath.
Last year, in his role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Goodlatte wanted Hillary Clinton prosecuted for perjury for alleged misstatements to Congress about her email setup. So far I have found no reaction from Goodlatte on the Sessions revelations.
Update: Goodlatte belatedly issued a statement saying Sessions “did the right thing” by recusing himself from matters arising from last year’s presidential campaign.