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Federal prosecutors have brought charges in cases far less serious than Sessionss

By Philip Lacovara and Lawrence Robbins

March 3 at 5:35 PM
Philip Lacovara was counsel to Watergate special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski, and also served as deputy U.S. solicitor general responsible for criminal matters, including the “Bronston” case. Lawrence Robbins has been both an assistant U.S. attorney and assistant to the solicitor general. Lacovara is a lifelong Republican; Robbins contributed to and raised money for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The views expressed are their own.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a seemingly false statement under oath during his confirmation hearing. Admittedly, not every potential perjury case gets prosecuted, and Sessions may well have defenses to such a charge. But as lawyers at the Justice Department and attorneys in private practice who have represented individuals accused in such cases, we can state with assurance: Federal prosecutors have brought charges in cases involving far more trivial misstatements and situations far less consequential than whether a nominee to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer misled fellow senators during his confirmation hearings.

Sessions’s problematic statement involves his response to a question by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) about what he would do as attorney general “if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign.” Sessions said he was unaware of any such activities, then volunteered, “I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.” In fact, then-Sen. Sessions (R-Ala.), a top Trump campaign adviser, met at least twice during the presidential campaign with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, The Post revealed.

As any number of witnesses have learned the hard way, it is a federal felony to lie to Congress. Under Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Sections 1001 and 1621, perjury before Congress is punishable by up to five years imprisonment. To prove that offense, a prosecutor would have to establish that Sessions’s answer was false, that he knew it was false when made and that the subject matter of the answer was “material” to the congressional inquiry in which he was testifying.


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Paul and Tonko demand access to room "containing Obamacare replacement plans", find nothing

Two lawmakers went to a room at the Capitol on Thursday that they thought contained a draft of the House Republicans' plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) tried to gain entry to H157, but were told a draft of the House bill was not in the room.

“We want to see the bill. We have many objections,” Paul said outside of the room.

“We're here asking for a written copy of this because this should be an open and transparent process.”


Perhaps they missed the blank sheets of paper there....That's the plan!

Dem senator: Russian hacking may have been 'act of war'

Source: The Hill

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on Thursday said Congress needs to consider whether Russia's cyber campaign during the U.S. presidential election was an act of war.

Shaheen made the statement during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday morning exploring the Pentagon's strategy to deter and respond to malicious acts in cyberspace.

The intelligence community released an unclassified report in January concluding that the Russian government engaged in a cyber and disinformation campaign during the election to undermine American democracy and damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and had established a preference for President Trump.

"We should think about whether it is an act of war or not," Shaheen said Thursday, referring to the election hacking.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/322002-dem-senator-we-should-determine-if-russian-election-hacking-was-act-of

Sanders: Sessions should resign

Source: The Hill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is joining a growing chorus of Democratic senators calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign.

Sanders’s statement comes after The Washington Post reported that Sessions spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign, then denied any meetings under oath during his confirmation hearing.

Sanders called the reports “deeply disturbing.”

“Attorney General Sessions should resign and a special prosecutor should be appointed to give the American people credible answers about Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election,” Sanders said in a statement.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/322012-sanders-sessions-should-resign

Jeff Sessions Needs to Go

MARCH 2, 2017
In the wake of Wednesday’s revelation that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the United States while working with the Trump campaign, despite denying those contacts during his confirmation hearings, key Republican and Democratic lawmakers are calling for him to recuse himself from overseeing any Justice Department investigation into contacts between the campaign and the Russian government. Some are even saying he needs to resign.

It’s a bombshell of a story. And it’s one with a clear and disturbing precedent.

In 1972 Richard G. Kleindienst, the acting attorney general, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a confirmation hearing on his nomination by President Richard Nixon to be attorney general. He was to replace Attorney General John N. Mitchell, who had resigned in disgrace and would later be sent to prison in the Watergate scandal.

Several Democratic senators were concerned about rumors of White House interference in a Justice Department antitrust suit against International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, a campaign contributor to the Republican National Committee. They asked Kleindienst several times if he had ever spoken with anyone at the White House about the I.T.T. case. He said he had not.


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