Jeff Sessions and Russia
March 6, 2017 | Expert Insights
Has Attorney General Jeff Sessions Committed Perjury?
On the 3rd of March 2017, Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions made a statement to the nation saying, he would recuse himself from all investigations into the Trump administration and Russia. ‘Recuse’ is a legal term meaning that Sessions will by Webster’s definition “disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case; broadly: to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest”. This comes after the Attorney General was revealed to have met with Russian officials, during Trump’s election campaign, while he was an advisor.
What is the Cause of the Scandal?
- The scandal comes after the Washington Post released information stating that Attorney General Sessions, met with Russian officials during Trump’s election, while he was an advisor in the campaign. This has led to many in the establishment denouncing Sessions and stating that he is guilty of perjury.
- The accusations of perjury, are due to Sessions saying during his confirmation hearing that he did not communicate with any Russian officials, during the campaign. He said this under oath and any proof of lying under oath, constitutes perjury. The confirmation hearing was on the 10 January and Sessions made a similar statement on 17 January, saying he did have any relations with the Russia.
- Sessions has now announced he has recused himself from all investigations into alleged Russia-Trump collusion’s, which have been growing. After Donald Trump took office, this is third major crisis after the Election Rigging rumor and the firing of Michael Flynn.
Why is the Heat on Trump – Russia Relations?
Sessions is unlikely to be prosecuted; as he is the Attorney General and controls a part of administration. It is also extremely hard to remove a siting member of the cabinet. But the more pressing question is, ’Why is Russian intelligence making so much impact in the US?’ , US Intelligence agencies have publically alleged Russian hand in the DNC breach, the election of Donald Trump and the compromise of of Michael Flynn. Russia and the US have been enemies for a long time and many interests groups thrive of their enmity. NATO, the Gun lobby and the US Military-Industrial complex, all feed on Cold War Era, threat-perceptions and balance of power. Trump has been outspoken; both of his praise of Putin’s leadership and also of closer relations between the two former rivals. This maybe the cause for the unsubstantiated, yet disconcerting allegations that undermine improving relations.
Those Interest groups will most likely lose out, if trade sanctions are lifted and the two nations resolve decades of animosity. The popularity (in US media) of the insinuations, may also be indicative of the little support Trump’s suggestion enjoys, with domestic US powers. Many Republicans and Democrats, usually divided on issues, agree that Russia is a dangerous force for the US. Is President Trump biting more than he can chew?
Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unlikely to voluntarily step down, will President Donald Trump step in? After losing his NSA after just 24 days in office, the new President may not be inclined to lose another member of his Cabinet. More importantly, with so much time & energy wasted on protecting his administration & his decisions, will President Trump have time for more esoteric subjects like global detente and world peace?