Thursday, March 2, 2017

Do: Call your representatives and tell them you want them to demand Jeff Sessions' resignation.

I don't call for a whole lot of mass calling, but today is the day to do it.

Last night, it was revealed that the new Attorney-General, former senator Jeff Sessions, lied under oath.  Asked during his confirmation hearings by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) what he would do if he found out that the Trump campaign had any contact with Russian officials, Sessions answered, “I’m not aware of any of those activities.  I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Even more plainly, when asked in writing by Sen. Leahy (D-VT), “Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day?," Sessions replied with a simple and complete, "No."

At this point, the Justice Department and White House have both confirmed that Sessions did, however, meet twice with the Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak while advising the campaign.  The current defense seems confused; Sessions himself said, "I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false," while his spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores seems to be separating Sessions into two people, saying that it was Sessions the senator who met with Kislyak, not Sessions the Trump supporter: "He 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."

Finally: the White House has admitted, however and most damningly, that Sessions and Kislyak may have discussed the election, although they characterized any such discussion as "superficial."

A lawyerly sort of defense could be made for Sessions, muddying the matter by saying that he was being asked about collusion or perhaps about official campaign interactions, or something similar.  But there is no other possible way to interpret this, taken as a whole, than as an attempt to mislead the Senate and the public.  If he'd disclosed this at the time, it would have been a minor hiccup in a confirmation that was already certain, so his decision is all the more insane.

Many Congresspeople have already called for Sessions to recuse himself, and now those cries will increase tenfold, but that's not enough.  We should demand his resignation.  Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Elijah Cummings have already called for Sessions to resign, as has Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  Ask your representatives to officially join them.  The DC lines are overburdened, so call your legislator's local numbers.

Here are a couple of numbers, and you can find others here.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA): 413-785-4610
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA1): 413-442-0946

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