Sunday, March 05, 2017
"Jeff Sessions made a false statement during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Attorney General. Answering a question from Senator Al Franken, of Minnesota, about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, Sessions said, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.” But as the Washington Post first reported last week, and as Sessions himself later acknowledged, he did have two meetings with the Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. President Donald Trump, rarely accused of having a gift for understatement, gave one when he said of his Attorney General, “He could have stated his response more accurately.”
In light of these revelations, Sessions has recused himself from any participation in Justice Department investigations of matters relating to Russia and the Trump campaign. These probes will now surely include an examination of whether Sessions’s own statements to Congress were violations of criminal law. False statements before Congress can lead to charges of perjury (felony lying under oath), making a false statement (also a felony but for statements that are not necessarily under oath), or for withholding information from Congress (a misdemeanor that has been a popular plea bargain for Washington figures such as the former Attorney General Richard Kleindienst and former national-security adviser Robert McFarlane). Partisans on both sides have been quick to convict or exonerate Sessions of any wrongdoing, but no final judgment is appropriate at this time. What’s needed is a full investigation—and here’s a guide to how such an inquiry might proceed."
How the Justice Department Could Investigate Jeff Sessions - The New Yorker