Many high ranking Democrats have demanded Attorney General Jeff Sessions step down after it was revealed late Wednesday evening that Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the 2016 presidential campaign. Last year, Sessions apparently met twice with Russia’s U.S. ambassador; however, he failed to previously disclose this information. After his Russian ties had been exposed, Democrats such House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts publicly demanded Sessions resign. Pelosi made a statement in which she declared,
“Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign. There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians.”
Rep. Cummings took a similar position when he stated Attorney General Jeff Sessions should immediately resign and “there is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commision to investigate this issue.”
Elizabeth Warren sent out several tweets that showed a similar demand for Sessions to resign his position.
And we need Attorney General Jeff Sessions – who should have never been confirmed in the first place – to resign. We need it now.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 2, 2017
During his confirmation hearings, Jeff Sessions was asked by Senator Al Franken what actions he would take if he became aware that any person affiliated with the Trump campaign had communicated with Russia at any point during the campaign. To this question, Session answered,
“I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russian, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
On late Wednesday night, after it had been revealed Sessions had met with Russia’s U.S. ambassador Sergei Kislyak twice during the presidential campaign, the Attorney General issued a statement in which he denied the allegations, insisting he had never met with any Russian officials to discuss campaign issues at any time.
While some Democrats have called for Sessions to resign, others have pressed even harder for a special prosecutor to be named head of the investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign aides and Russian officials. Representative Eric Swalwell of the House Intelligence Committee stated that the exposure of Sessions’ meetings with the Russian ambassador further demonstrates the need for an “independent, bipartisan commission to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 election.”
Some Democrats also called for Sessions to remove himself from any FBI investigation into Russian ties and interference during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Rep. Adam Schiff, a top Democrat at the House Intelligence committee stated,
“If reports are accurate that Attorney General Sessions—a prominent surrogate for Donald Trump—met with Ambassador Kisylak during the campaign, and failed to disclose the fact during his confirmation, it is essential that he recuse himself from any role in the investigation of Trump campaign ties to the Russians. This is not even a close call; it is a must.”
Other Democrats have responded to the news with tweets such as “There is so much lying,” made by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii.
There is so much lying.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) March 2, 2017
Additional party members who expressed their support with the demand Sessions immediately resign include Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey.
Sarah Isgur Flores, spokeswoman for Sessions, told NBC News that although the former Senator did meet with Kisylak last year during the campaign, nothing about the statements he made at the hearing were in any way misleading. Since Sessions was asked during the hearing about “communications between Russia and the Trump campaign, not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee,” the answer he gave to the questions posed on the matter were in no way misleading, according to Flores.
[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]