A leading ethics attorney in the George W. Bush White House thinks Jeff Sessions may be criminally charged for lying under oath.
When Sessions was answering Senator Al Franken’s (D-Minnesota) hypothetical question about what he would do as Attorney General if he learned the president was having frequent contact with the Russian government during the course of his presidential campaign, Sessions coyly answered that in his capacity as a Trump surrogate, he was unaware about any contact with Russia, and had none of his own:
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 2, 2017
However, after the Washington Post reported that Sessions had at least two meetings with Sergey Kislyak — Russia’s ambassador to the United States — during the election, top Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) are calling for Sessions to step down from his post as Attorney General.
But perhaps more surprisingly, Richard Painter, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush during his second term, tweeted that the Attorney General’s act of perjury is a “good way to go to jail.”
Misleading the Senate in sworn testimony about one own contacts with the Russians is a good way to go to jail https://t.co/qH0s6sTMJ9
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 2, 2017
It’s worth noting that Sergey Kislyak is the same Russian ambassador that former National Security advisor Michael Flynn talked to about the potential lifting of sanctions against Russia prior to Donald Trump taking the presidential oath of office. After it was revealed that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversation with Kislyak, he was forced to resign. It remains unclear whether or not Sessions will resign as a result of perjuring himself before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Jamie Green is a contributor for the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.