Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the House Judiciary Committee next Tuesday to explain why he failed to previously disclose former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos’ offer to use his contacts to set up a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-candidate Donald Trump in March 2016, according to court documents.
Sessions, an Alabama senator (R), previously told lawmakers that he was “not aware of any of those activities” of contacts between Russian officials and Trump campaign surrogates.
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about contacts with Russians, according to court documents unsealed last week.
According to the documents, Papadopoulos said at a March 31, 2016, meeting of Trump foreign policy advisers “that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.”
Both Sessions and Trump attended that meeting, according to a photo posted on Trump’s Instagram account.
Senate Democrats last week demanded that Sessions be recalled to testify on the Trump campaign’s Russia contacts after the Papadopoulos disclosure.
Sen. Al Franken issued a scathing letter on Thursday demanding truthful answers from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the new revelation.
“This newest revelation strongly suggests that the Senate—and the American public—cannot trust your word,” Franken wrote.
“Once again, developments in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election have brought to light evidence that you failed to tell the truth about your interactions with Russian operatives during the campaign, as well as your awareness of Russian contacts by other members of the Trump campaign team,” Franken wrote.
He called it “another example in an alarming pattern” in which Sessions “apparently failed to tell the truth, under oath, about the Trump team’s contacts with agents of Russia—a hostile foreign power that interfered in the 2016 election.”
He needs to return to Senate Judiciary Committee and explain himself. My letter to him: https://t.co/cWkvzodq1S
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) November 2, 2017
“We must get to the bottom of what happened so that we can prevent it from happening again,” Franken wrote. “I am deeply troubled that this newest revelation strongly suggests that the Senate—and the American public—cannot trust your word.”