Looks like Attorney General Jeff Sessions is under scrutiny again as Senate Democrats are demanding he explain his testimony on Russia before Congress.
Democrats are pushing back on Sessions’ claim that he had no knowledge of any Russian officials having contact with anyone in the Trump campaign.
According to court documents released Monday by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, Sessions was actually at a March 2016 meeting with then-candidate Donald Trump where an adviser offered to set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Fox News reported.
Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos reportedly suggested the meeting at a national security meeting Trump held last March which included Sessions.
It “seems clear that the people who remember the conversation believed that Papadopoulos was proposing a prospective idea of using his ‘Russian contacts’ to try to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin, which was immediately rejected by then-Senator Sessions,” a source familiar with the meeting told Fox News.
“At the time, of course, Papadopoulos was some 29-year old that nobody had ever heard of and who struck people in the room as someone who didn’t have a lot of credibility. As far as Sessions seemed to be concerned, when he shut down this idea of Papadopoulos engaging with Russia, that was the end of it and he moved the meeting along to other issues,” the source added.
The court documents released by Mueller also revealed that Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Democrats on the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees are demanding Sessions clarify remarks he made in his previous testimony as he failed to disclose the discussions at the meeting.
“Jeff Sessions concealed his meetings with the Russians and he had an obligation to be more forthcoming about meetings that involved Papadopoulos,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. said, according to CNN.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, questioned “whether he is being honest and forthright with the committee and what does that mean for the highest law enforcement officer in the country?”
Sessions’ testimony on alleged interactions with Russia during the election campaign has been challenging on several occasions. After maintaining in his confirmation hearings in January that he had no communications with Russian officials, it was revealed later that he had in fact spoken with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Sessions also recused himself from the Justice Department’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
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