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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Trump AG Jeff Sessions likely will be dragged into Michael Flynn scandal after serving as chairman over Flynn on two national-security committees


Jeff Sessions
(From UK Independent and Getty Images)
Could Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions be drawn into the scandal that caused National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to step down? It looks like the process to scrutinize Sessions, as part of Flynn's communications with Russian officials, already has started.

Sessions, of course, was a long-time Republican U.S. Senator from Alabama. Could that bring the Flynn scandal to The Heart of Dixie, with Sessions having already brought Alabamians into the Trump administration? According to a report today in the UK Independent, some Alabamians might soon be wishing they never had ties to Sessions. The former senator might soon be toxic for reasons other than his well-known racist statements and actions of yesteryear.

In an article titled "Jeff Sessions faces scrutiny over Michael Flynn’s calls to Russia," the Independent notes that the AG was sitting on the same national security council as Flynn when the latter sought to reassure the Russians that sanctions would be overturned.

The issues with Sessions actually go deeper than that. In March 2016, Trump appointed Sessions to head his campaign's National Security Advisory Committee. Let that sink in: Sessions was Trump's chief on national-security issues DURING THE CAMPAIGN, at a time when we now know from U.S. intelligence reports that Russian interests were trying to undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Guess who served on that campaign committee with Sessions? Why it was none other than Michael Flynn. From a Trump campaign press release, dated October 7, 2016:

Today, Donald J. Trump announced the appointment of several key members to his national security advisory council following a roundtable meeting in New York. Mr. Trump’s national security team is comprised of some of the brightest minds in foreign policy, nuclear non-proliferation, combating ISIS and rebuilding our national defense. . . .

New members of the national security advisory council include: KT McFarland, Congressman Mike McCaul, Senator Tom Cotton, Senator Richard Burr, Jim Woolsey, Tom Barrack, Congressman Darrell Issa, Senator Bob Corker, Senator Jim Inhofe, Charlie Glazer and John Ashcroft.

These new members will add to the already strong team comprised of Senator Jeff Sessions, General Mike Flynn, Tom Stewart, Bert Mizusawa, Bob McEwan, Chuck Kubic, Jay Garner, Keith Kellogg, Gary Harrell, Bob Magnus, Jim Hoskins and Rudy Giuliani.

Creating a safe America is important to every American and Donald Trump’s plan will make the U.S. safe again.

In the wake of Flynn's resignation, every member of that committee soon should be under investigation, including its chair, Jeff Sessions. Notice some of the conservative stalwarts serving with Sessions and Flynn on that campaign committee -- Rudy Giuliani, John Ashcroft, Tom Cotton, Bob Corker. What did they know, and when did they know it?

Here's more from today's UK Independent report:

Jeff Sessions is once again in the spotlight after it was revealed he sat on the same Trump campaign national security council as Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who was forced to resign after admitting he called the Russian ambassador to reassure them that sanctions would be overturned.

The Attorney General, who was sworn in last week despite opposition from Democrats and civil rights activists, is now being asked to recuse himself from his role at the nation’s highest office after speculation is swirling that he may also have been involved in the Russia-related scandal.

That is despite revelations that Mr Sessions would lead the investigation against Mr Flynn.

Speculation is swirling that Sessions was involved in the Russia scandal? Gulp. That sound you hear is Jeff Sessions and his cronies stepping in a big pile of doo-doo. And the doo-doo might be much deeper than we now can imagine.

As David Corn, of Mother Jones, reported yesterday, Flynn's communications with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak go way beyond the ones after Trump was elected:

Flynn's departure should not end the demands for an investigation. One tantalizing and somewhat overlooked aspect of the Post story that did him in was the fact that Flynn hobnobbed with Kislyak during the campaign. The paper reported that the Flynn-Kislyak conversations "were part of a series of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that began before the November 8 election and continued during the transition, officials said." And the paper noted, "Kislyak said that he had been in contact with Flynn since before the election, but declined to answer questions about the subjects they discussed."

This is the mystery that now needs an answer: What was Flynn talking about with the Russians during the campaign?

Who was Flynn's director chairman/supervisor during his talks with Kislyak? That would be Jeff Sessions. And the white-hot light is starting to turn on him.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you the first U.S. journalist to get on this story?

legalschnauzer said...

As far as I know, I'm the first, but I'm not certain about that. I do know others are on it. One is Dahlia Lithwick, of Slate and Newsweek.

Anonymous said...

Great reporting, LS. After all the efforts to shut you down, your journalism still kicks ass.

Anonymous said...

God, I would love to see Sessions go down!

Tinker said...

Mark my word, this will become the biggest scandal in American history, way bigger than Watergate.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be a hoot to see Cliff Sims come slinking back to Birmingham after getting scorched dumpster fire? Communications specialist, my ass.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say "getting scorched in the Trump dumpster fire."

Anonymous said...

Tinker:

I think it already is the worst scandal in American history. Whether it becomes the biggest scandal depends on how much of it becomes known. During Watergate, there actually were a few Republicans with integrity who helped make sure the truth was revealed. I'm not sure there are any such Republicans today. And I don't see the Dems unearthing this on their own.

Who will try to cover up, and will they be successful?

Chuckles said...

Didn't your good buddy, Clifton Walker, claim he knew Cliff Sims, and that Sims was a raging drunk?

legalschnauzer said...

Chuckles --

Yes, but I wouldn't put stock in anything Clifton Walker says. I doubt that is even his real name. I will give credit to Cliff Sims for using his real name -- at least he appears to use his real name.

If Walker says Sims is a drunk, that makes me think Sims is a non-drinker.

Anonymous said...

Trump was incredibly stupid to piss off the media and intelligence community. Together, they will bring his orange ass down. The leaks are just starting.

legalschnauzer said...

Boy, you nailed it, @1:39. The CIA has done some dubious things in the past, but in a cage match between the CIA and Trump admin, I'm pulling for CIA every time. To me, the CIA is trying to save our democracy from a monster.

Anonymous said...

Raw Story is reporting an unnamed intelligence official saying he hopes Trump "dies in jail."

I sense a little hatred in that comment.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, @1:43, I sense some hatred, too, but it's probably deserved. Trump is clueless about the intelligence/national security apparatus, and that's why the notion of a businessman running the government has always sounded better on paper than it looks in reality.

I suspect CIA types don't suffer fools gladly, and they know we have a band of fools in the White House.

One quibble with the quote: It should say he wants to "see Trump die in prison." We tend to get jail and prison mixed up, but they are two very different things. Trump would go to prison.

Cliff Sims said...

Mr. Shuler, you are NOT authorized to use my name on your blog.

I have a right to publicity under federal and state law.

Remove all references to me from your blog within 24 hours, or I will take legal action against you which will result in the seizing of your blog.

Govern yourself accordingly.

Mr. Cliff Sims
@Cliff_Sims

legalschnauzer said...

Cliff Sims --

Are you really this stupid? You think I have to be authorized to use the name of a Trump White House official on my blog? What can you cite for that nutty proposition?

You say, "I have a right to publicity under federal and state law." What on earth are you talking about? Is the pressure of the Good Ship Trump getting to you? You sound deranged?

I'm not removing any references to you, and I probably will add more, given this nutty comment from you.

This legal-action thing can work both ways, so you might want to consider that before picking a fight with me. You don't have a legal leg to stand on, unless someone in the Trump fantasy world has convinced you otherwise.

I will govern myself according to the law, not according to threats from a clown like you, who apparently is in way over his head.

legalschnauzer said...

A followup to Cliff Sims --

My first instinct was that this could not be the real Cliff Sims. I can't imagine anyone with media experience being dumb enough to make these assertions. But it appears to go to your Facebook or Twitter page. If this is an imposter, let me know, and I will act accordingly. If not, I would suggest you get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Cliff Sims, is that you? If so, it sounds like you about to crack. Need me to send you some Xanax.

Anonymous said...

Aboard the Eliza Battle the crew were enjoying some down time. Sheldon recalled that he had feared the Eliza Battle had lost one of her allies when Bob Yancey let Beka fire the cannon during the salute of the General. When Beka lit the fuse and yelled "Fire in the Hole", Bentley's legs got all wobbly and his face turned pale and then he hit the deck. But Beka gave him a wack with a spoon and he woke right up. Dr. Foreman said there was a medical term for the maneuver. The Heimlich maneuver is named after the Hemlock wood. The maneuver Beka performed is the Mahogany maneuver. It is named after Wanda's Mahogany wood desk. When ever Wanda left her desk, Beka wacked The Luv Guv with a spoon.
Admiral Tryon while discussing the war with Eliza Yancey commented that Mike was lucky that the Russians Hacked the Democratic e-mails. The Stranger in the Shadows joined in the conversation saying"Never happened". Karl Rove started the e-mail diversion when his Super Pac ran ads during the Iowa Caucus. The Russians wanted Clinton to win. The Admiral responded that he did not understand why the Russians wanted Clinton to win. The Stranger said the Victoria had given the Aurora a list of the Obama-Clinton dirty laundry. The Russians could have blackmailed Clinton. The Victoria knew the FEDS would intercept the message to the homeland from the Aurora and take appropriate action. The Big Ape was supposed to remain Alabama Attorney General and keep Mike's plan to clear his name shut down. Now the New US Attorney General will have to go after Bentley and the New Alabama Attorney General to shut down Mike's plan to clear his name. But! People underestimate Mike. He has a plan.

Anonymous said...

Boy, sounds like Cliff Sims is losing it!

legalschnauzer said...

At the moment, I'm 50-50 on whether that is Cliff Sims or not. His name is highlighted, and when you click on it, you go to his Twitter page. But I'm guessing that kind of thing can be faked. I sent him a query via Facebook PM today and asked if that comment was from him. I've received no reply, so that points to it being him.

If so, you are right -- he is losing it. It might be a sign of WH stress under the Flynn scandal.

I'm guessing Sims is not all that bright, but I would be amazed if he was stupid enough to actually write and send a comment like that. At the moment, I'm 50-50.

[ERROR] said...

Mr. Shuler, Cliff Sims asked me to contact you to resolve a matter about which I think we can find common ground. Cliff
contacted you yesterday asking that his name be removed from any posts on your web site. It seems one of your community has been posting as "Cliff Sims" or "Clifford", but this is not Cliff Sims. Continuing to allow these posts or whatever they are is damaging Cliff's reputation,
and could be the basis for legal action against you.

I have asked Don McGahn's assistant to draft a letter to you indicating our position
on this. Without question the following
four individuals possess rights of publicity under law and you are forbidden from profiting from their likenesses without their permission:


1. Clifford "Cliff" Sims
2. Thomas Bryant "Tom" Cotton
3. Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III
4. Luther Johnson Strange III


We would like to resolve this today in good faith without
resorting to other actions that will see your blog removed from Google and you yourself inconvenienced in various
ways. Remove the content before 2:00 AM EST
Friday.

Sincerely,





.

legalschnauzer said...

Error:

I have no idea if this is a real inquiry. I suspect it is not. Not aware of anyone with legit legal credentials who would send a threat/request via anonymous comment. No content is being removed, that is for sure. If you have real business to discuss, I suggest you send me an e-mail under your real name. Otherwise, I can only assume you are a prankster and a fraud.

e.a.f. said...

The Guardian (British on line edition) has some things to say about this mess and Trump.

How will all of this play out, well if you watch the Daily Show with Stephen Corbett and Trevor Noah, with a lot of laughter. Once the public starts laughing at a politician the game is all down hill. Last evening show, Trevor Noah, did a whole bit about what is wrong with Trump. Well he is an old guy and then goes from there, finalizing it with views of his back end and suggesting he is wearing diapers because he is an old guy.

Now back to topic. There are already a couple of petitions demanding that Sessions recuse himself from any investigations.

By the time this is over Trump will have to have Kelly Ann out there doing her fake news line over and over again. Spicer isn't going to keep it up by himself. Don't be surprised if he resigns next. Melissa McCarthy is simply too good at imitating him.

What will be interesting to see is if they start firing government employees and threatening them with prison for releasing "confidential information". if that happens expect that there will be a whole lot more information. What is very funny is the Trump people accusing federal workers of doing illegal things, while they are reporting on Trump's people's illegal activities.

As to the CIA trying to protect democracy, not so much. They're about protecting themselves from Trump and although Trump is President, the CIA can do a lot more damage to Trump than Trump can do to them. They are the keeper of the secrets. Trump and his people know how to get to the building, but get through the doors, without being invited, perhaps not so much. of course Trump could ask Russia to hack the C.I.A. computers and delete the information they have on him. Well he asked them to hack Clinton didn't they.

As to Sessions and the bunch of them and the Russians, looks like McCain and two other senators aren't too happy about things. This may not go well for Trump. As to Sessions, he isn't in Alabama anymore.

Anonymous said...

LS: Thought you might be interested in the below piece from a writer at the Cato Institute (conservative think tank). Your "Eliza Battle" fabulist has been harping on this theme of the land thieves for close to a year now... https://fee.org/articles/jeff-sessions-and-the-thuggery-of-asset-forfeiture/