03 March 2017

Jeff Sessions Met Twice With Russian Ambassador During Trump Campaign & British, Dutch Passed Along Intel About Meetings Between Trump Team and Russia & Can Jeff Sessions Be Prosecuted for Perjury? 1&2MAR17

Image result for teapot dome scandal
IF the Attorney General of the United States is allowed to get away with perjury and possible treason then the drumpf/trump-pence administration and the republican controlled congress will have a green light to become (if they aren't already) the most corrupt government we have suffered under since pres warren g harding in the 1920's and pres richard nixon's administration in the 1970's (note both were republicans). jeff sessions should resign as A.G. and be charged with perjury, at the least he must be investigated and face charges for his crimes against the American people and our Republic. This from the ACLU and +Mother Jones .......
Attorney General Sessions raising his right hand and swearing to tell the truth
Our attorney general may have committed perjury and a foreign government may have interfered in our democracy.

The American people need answers about Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign – and what role Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have played.

Join the ACLU and call on Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, the official in charge of this investigation, to appoint a special prosecutor.

Following revelations that Sessions didn’t tell the whole truth at his confirmation hearing about his contact with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, Sessions recused himself from leading the investigation into Russian involvement – passing that responsibility to Boente.

But recusal isn’t enough – only an independent special prosecutor can ensure a full investigation free of partisan politics and conflicts of interest, the kind of investigation the American people deserve.

Add your name now to demand that Boente appoint a special prosecutor. No one is above the law in America, no matter their political connections.

Thanks for taking action,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team

Jeff Sessions Met Twice With Russian Ambassador During Trump Campaign

MAR. 1, 2017 9:44 PM

And now here comes the Washington Post on contacts between the Trump team and Russia:
Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Justice Department officials said, encounters he did not disclose when asked about possible contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign and representatives of Moscow during Sessions’s confirmation hearing to become attorney general.
One of the meetings was a private conversation between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that took place in September in the senator’s office, at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.
....Officials said Sessions did not consider the conversations relevant to the lawmakers’ questions and did not remember in detail what he discussed with Kislyak.
That was Mike Flynn's initial answer too, wasn't it? That he "didn't remember" the details of a conversation from less than half a year ago. I wonder how long Sessions' version will hold up?
Can we all now agree that maybe Sessions really does need to recuse himself from the FBI's investigation of Trump's ties to Russia?
Kevin is a political blogger for Mother Jones. Email Kevin For more of his stories, click here or follow him on Facebook.

British, Dutch Passed Along Intel About Meetings Between Trump Team and Russia

MAR. 1, 2017 9:30 PM

The New York Times reports today on new revelations about contacts between the Trump team and Russia during the last month of the Obama administration:
American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates.
Some of this is coming to light as a result of deliberate efforts by outgoing Obama officials:
Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration. At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.
....Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings,knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators....At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low level of classification to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government....There was also an effort to pass reports and other sensitive materials to Congress.
....Throughout the summer...European allies were starting to pass along information about people close to Mr. Trump meeting with Russians in the Netherlands, Britain and other countries....But it wasn’t until after the election, and after more intelligence had come in, that the administration began to grasp the scope of the suspected tampering and concluded that one goal of the campaign was to help tip the election in Mr. Trump’s favor. In early December, Mr. Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full assessment of the Russian campaign.
As the story acknowledges, it's still unclear what all these meetings were about, but "the Russians, it appeared, were arguing about how far to go in interfering in the presidential election."
This has the feel of a scandal that will pass into urban legend without anyone ever knowing for sure what actually happened. It's pretty obvious at this point that something happened, but with every new disclosure it seems as if the truth drifts a little farther out of reach. Unless someone has a smoking gun tape somewhere, it's not clear if this story will ever get resolved.

Can Jeff Sessions Be Prosecuted for Perjury?

We asked three constitutional law professors. Here's what they said.

MAR. 2, 2017 1:54 PM

Late Wednesday night, the Washington Post broke the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign, contacts he failed to disclose during his Senate confirmation hearings. "I did not have communications with the Russians," said Sessions during his sworn testimony. As a growing list of lawmakers call for Sessions to recusehimself from the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election—and some Democrats demand his resignation—an open question remains: Can Jeff Sessions be prosecuted for perjury?
The answer is not exactly cut and dry. At the time of his confirmation hearings, Sessions was still serving as a senator from Alabama. The Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause shields lawmakers from prosecution for lying during proceedings in the House or Senate. The clause was written with the intent to foster debate in Congress without the threat of lawsuits stifling discussion. So, since Sessions was a sitting Senator when he allegedly misled Congress, does that mean he's off the hook? Mother Jones put the question to three constitutional law experts.
"There might be other things he can be prosecuted for," says Josh Chafetz, a law professor at Cornell University, referencing laws that allow Congress to hold individuals in contempt for providing false testimony. But, says Chafetz, Sessions can't be prosecuted for perjury.
Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe sees it differently. "That would be a laughable misuse of the Speech and Debate Clause," he says. "He was testifying under oath as an [attorney general] nominee, not in the discharge of any Senatorial business of his own."
Yale Law professor Bruce Ackerman says he's inclined to believe that Sessions is not protected by the clause. Still, Ackerman says there's no decisive case law on the issue, which muddies the waters. "Only one thing is clear," he says, "Sessions must recuse 
himself, and it is incumbent on the Administration to appoint a special prosecutor."