SessionsGate is a witch hunt: MSM has zero evidence Jeff Sessions committed perjury
jeff sessions speech

MSM has zero evidence Jeff Sessions committed perjury

Posted March 02, 2017 03:53 PM by Rob Eno jeff sessions speech
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The media have gotten their marching orders. Today’s news shall be 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage of SessionsGate! What’s that? You see, former senator and current Attorney General Jeff Sessions was asked in his confirmation hearing if he met with the Russians as part of his role as a Trump campaign surrogate. He said no. Now it has come to light that Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador twice during 2016. Both times were in his capacity as a senator, not as a Trump campaign actor or representative.

This whole non-story is yet another attempt to impugn the character of a good man just because that man supported Donald Trump.

Here’s the Washington Post story that started the recent row about Sessions. 

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow [emphasis added] during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.

One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.

The Post paints a very sinister looking picture. That is until you realize that the questions Sessions were asked were about contacts he may have had in his capacity as a campaign surrogate. The question was not whether he had talked to Russian officials at all. The media’s portrayal of this as perjury has no basis in the facts at hand.

So what exactly happened at the hearing where Sessions was asked a question? The inquiry about Russia was initiated by Senator Al Franken, D-Minn. (F, 6%) during Sessions’ confirmation hearing.

Here’s the exchange [emphasis added].

Franken: If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign what will you do?

Sessions: Senator Franken i'm not aware of … uh … any of those activities. Ii have been called a surrogate a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communication with the Russians and I'm unable to comment.

The question was clearly asked about the Trump campaign having contact with the Russians. Sessions stated that he did not have communications with the Russians, ostensibly about the campaign, as that was the question that was asked.

Similarly, in a questionnaire answer to Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (F, 6%), Sessions denied contacting any Russian government officials or operatives regarding the election (pdf).

[22] e. Several of the President-Elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. 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?

RESPONSE: No.

Again, the question was about having contact with the Russian government about the election. Not whether Sessions was in contact with anyone from the Russian government about anything.

The media and the Left are making a case regarding something they have no evidence of. The fact that then-Senator Sessions answered the questions that were asked truthfully, and not the questions the Left wishes were asked, doesn’t rise to the level of perjury. In fact, it’s not even close to perjury. It doesn’t even seem all that untoward. 

Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC. If you see something you’d like him to cover, tweet him @robeno.