CNN reported on Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose meetings he had with Russian officials last year when he applied for his security clearance, according to the Justice Department.
The officials said that Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least two times last year and failed to provide that information during his security clearance. Having kept that information is a crime as it is required for him to list “any contact” he or his family had with a “foreign government” or its “representatives” over the past seven years.
This was not the first Sessions kept this information. Earlier this year he failed to mention those meetings during his Senate confirmation hearings.
“My interpretation is that a member of Congress would still have to reveal the appropriate foreign government contacts notwithstanding it was on official business,” said Mark Zaid, a Washington attorney who specializes in national security law.
The law says that “a federal official is not required to list the meetings if they were part of a foreign conference he or she attended while conducting government business. Sessions’ meetings, however, do not appear to be tied to foreign conferences.”
Sessions has, time and time again, testified that he “did not have communications” with the Russians during the campaign.
“Let me be clear,” Sessions said before announcing his recusal, “I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.”
He added: “I do not recall any discussions with the Russian ambassador or any other representative of the Russian government, regarding the political campaign on these occasions or any other occasion.”
Both the House and Senate intelligence committees have said that it is possible that Sessions could be brought in for questioning.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer told CNN in an April 28 interview, “I’d be happy if they brought him before the committee and had him testify.”
“Look, there are a lot of questions about Jeff Sessions,” the New York Democrat said of his former colleague. “That’s why I called on him to resign.”