It has been revealed that the Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied to the Senate confirmation committee when he claimed that he had not had contact with any Russian officials.
On March 2nd the Washington Post reported that Mr Sessions, who is the 84th person to hold the position as head of the Department of Justice, met with Russian officials, including Russia’s ambassador to Washington, DC, Sergey Kislyak, prior to the November election, with their last meeting occurring in September.
Not only is it illegal for such meetings to occur, but Mr Sessions went on to tell the Senate confirmation committee that he was “not aware of any of those activities,” and claimed; “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
Mr Trump’s Presidency has been far from typical, however he is coming under increasing scrutiny for his ties to the Russian government and Vladimir Putin, with some alleging that the sanctimony of American democracy was violated by Russian interference. Moreover, the 45th President’s administration has already been rocked by the resignation (but effectively firing) of Michael Flynn as national security advisor over his secret meetings held with Russian diplomats in 2016, suggesting that the Trump Presidency is plagued by illegal Russian meetings.
Mr Sessions has followed the advice given to him, including that which came from those who broke ranks like Republican Senators Rob Portman, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham who claimed he should recuse himself from any and all investigations regarding the Presidential campaign. This means that he will have no involvement in the proceedings which are yet to come. However, many Congressman and Senators have been quick to argue that this is not enough.
Elizabeth Warren, who was silenced from reading a 30 year-old letter from the late wife of Martin Luther King Jr. which criticised Mr Sessions, was one of a number of top Democrats calling for him to resign today as Attorney General. It seems unlikely that he will, however, and the increased media scrutiny is likely to continue to drive a wedge between the mainstream media and the Trump supporters who complain that it presents an unfair picture of the billionaire.
Whilst the allegations are staggering and unprecedented, the entirety of Trump’s campaign was also mired by controversy, and so although many are ready to see the tycoon impeached or resign, it seems unlikely that this will be the end of Trump. The question still remains, however, of whether these allegations are true and what the consequences of them will be. The links between the Trump administration and Russia were all but confirmed with the resignation of Michael Flynn, but even Trump’s most loyal backers may struggle to look past this damaging blow.