While many Congressional Democrats have called for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself for a potential investigation into the Donald Trump Administration’s ties to Russia, some have started to call for his resignation after The Washington Post reported on March 1 that Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice in 2016. Sessions denied ever having communications with anyone connected to the Russian government during his confirmation hearings last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
According to the Washington Post, Sessions met with Kislyak in July and September, long after joining Trump’s campaign in February 2016. But in response to one question written by Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat of Vermont, Sessions wrote that he had not had any contact with anyone linked to the Russian government about the election.
“Several of the President-elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. 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?” Leahy asked.
“No,” Sessions replied.
Sessions later told the Post in a statement that he “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.” Hours later, he told NBC News that he would recuse himself, but only if he deemed it “appropriate.” He then added, “There’s no doubt about that.”
In a statement on Facebook, Senator Elizabeth Warren called on Sessions to resign.
This is not normal. This is not fake news. This is a very real and serious threat to the national security of the United States. We need a special prosecutor totally independent of the AG. We need a real, bipartisan, transparent Congressional investigation into Russia. And we need the Attorney General – who should have never been confirmed in the first place – to resign.
In a press conference on March 2, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also said that Sessions should resign.
Senator Al Franken, who asked Sessions about contact with the Russians during the campaign, wrote on Facebook that Sessions should recuse himself. He also wants Sessions to before the Senator Judiciary Committee again to answer more questions.
“The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened between Russia and the Trump team, and I believe we need thorough and impartial investigations to get to the bottom of it,” Franken wrote. “It’s clearer than ever now that the attorney general cannot, in good faith, oversee an investigation at the Department of Justice and the FBI of the Trump-Russia connection, and he must recuse himself immediately.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Sessions of committing perjury and said he must resign. She wrote:
Now, after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign. Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign. There must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal and financial connections to the Russians.
Senator Dianne Feinstein also wants Sessions to resign. She wrote:
It’s clear Attorney General Sessions must immediately recuse himself from any and all investigations into Russian ties to the Trump campaign and interference in the 2016 election. The fact that he spoke with Russians and then, under oath, denied it is unacceptable. If the attorney general refuses to recuse himself, he should resign.
Here are other House Democrats who have called on Sessions to resign:
Democrats aren’t the only ones calling for Sessions to recuse himself. Rep. Jason Chaffetz tweeted that Sessions needs to “clarify his testimony.” Ohio Senator Rob Portman also called on Sessions to recuse himself.