As we reported earlier this morning
, last night The Washington Post broke a potentially blockbuster story
that the attorney general, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, had lied under oath during his confirmation hearing in January when he said he’d had no contact with Russian officials during last year’s presidential campaign, when he was a top surrogate for Donald Trump.
Since this morning, the INDY
has been calling every member of Congress from North Carolina, both Democrat and Republican, seeking comment on the matter. Here are the responses we’ve collected so far, both from press releases and from other media sources, as well as direct responses to our inquiries. (If you see something, please pass it along to email@example.com.) This blog will be updated throughout the day.
U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield, Democrat
“Jeff Sessions has once again shown he is not fit to serve as our nation’s top law enforcement officer. It is essential that there be trust between the U.S. Attorney General and the American people. By testifying under oath that he did not have communications with the Russians during his Senate confirmation hearing, Jeff Sessions has breached this trust and raises questions of apparent perjury that must be investigated.
“In light of this report and last month’s call for Michael Flynn’s resignation after he concealed conversations with the Russians, there is no question that we need an independent, bipartisan, transparent commission to investigate this Administration’s connections and communications with Russia.
“At minimum, the Attorney General must recuse himself from any oversight of an investigation of senior Trump officials’ ties to the Russian government.”
U.S. Senator Richard Burr, Republican
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) made the following statement on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and any Department of Justice investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 Election:
“The Attorney General has said he would recuse himself when needed and I trust him to make what he feels is the appropriate decision as to his involvement in any investigation into Russian active measures and the 2016 election.”
Burr, it’s worth noting, heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is supposed to be investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
U.S. Representative Mark Walker, Republican
Walker, who is on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, admitted in an interview with CNN that Sessions’s meetings with Russian officials—and the fact that he apparently didn’t remember having them—make him uncomfortable. But he isn’t ready to call for the attorney general’s resignation or say he should be investigated for perjury. First he wants to “see some more concrete evidence and say there was something intentional about this.”
“Obviously there is evidence that there were two meetings,” he said. “I’m a little disappointed that there hasn’t been more clarity on the fact that we’re just now remembering those meetings. … That’s not to say you can leap to a place and say specifically that there was any kind of wrongdoing.”
Asked if he agreed with other politicians calling for Sessions to recuse himself from an investigation into the Trump team’s contact with Russia, Walker said he was “just shy” of taking that step. “I want to make sure there is a bit of a pause in the tension that we’re seeing right now in Washington D.C.,” he said.
U.S. Representative David Price, Democrat:
U.S. Representative Alma Adams, Democrat:
Washington, D.C.—Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) released the following statement calling for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“Attorney General Sessions’ session must end. He lied under oath not once, but twice about his knowledge of any conversations or connections between surrogates of the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Congresswoman Adams. “This is unacceptable. The American people should not tolerate a crook for its top cop.
“It’s time he own up to the improper contact he had with Russian officials and resign immediately. When he lied to Congress, he lied to the American people and it is now imperative that there is an independent, bipartisan, outside investigation into further collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The American people deserve answers.”