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Witch Hunt? AG Jeff Sessions Facing Firestorm for Russia Meetings

03-02-2017
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Jeff Sessions

President Donald Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is under fire from Democrats and the media over accusations that he met with Russian officials during the presidential campaign. A growing list of top Democratic leaders say they want Sessions to resign.

In his Senate confirmation hearings, before being approved for his new post as attorney general, Sessions denied that he had met with Russians.

Wednesday, the Justice Department reported Session had contact twice with Russian officials during the campaign. The Washington Post was the first to report this information. 

Sessions is firing back.

He released a statement Wednesday night, saying: "I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false."

Sessions and his team point out that last year he met with officials from dozens of different countries because of his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee. But other committee members said unlike Sessions, they have never met with the Russian Ambassador.

Among them is Senator Claire McCaskill, (D) Missouri who Tweeted, "I've been on the Armed Services com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever."

But National Review Online editor Charles C.W. Cooke discovered two previous tweets from McCaskill where she announced, "Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador," and "Today calls with British, Russian, and German Ambassadors re: Iran deal."

Cooke tweeted that "McCaskill says she's had 'no call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever.' But she tweeted about two. It's easy to forget."

As attorney general, Sessions is in charge of the FBI investigation of Russia's election hacking. Some members of his party say he may need to recuse himself from the investigation.

"If there's something there, if the FBI believes is criminal in nature, then, for sure, you need a special prosecutor.  If that day ever comes, I'll be the first one to say it needs to be somebody other than Jeff," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.

Some Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are demanding that Sessions resign.

Pelosi says Session lied under oath. Schumer says Sessions should resign, or at least recuse himself from any investigation of possible Russian meddling in last November's presidential election. Schumer and some other Democrats want a special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Russian interference allegations.

White House officials call the new reports just the latest partisan attack on the Trump administration.

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