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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Criminal complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions alleges perjury, making false statements, and obstruction of justice related to Russia meetings


Jeff Sessions
Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a long-time U.S. senator from Alabama, faces criminal allegations based on false statements during his confirmation hearings about meetings with a Russian ambassador. Boston attorney J. Whitfield Larrabee filed the complaint yesterday, on behalf of 23 citizens who allege Sessions violated federal statutes on perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.

The case, styled Cynthia Berkowitz, M.D.,et.al. v. Jefferson B. Sessions, III, was filed with Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Counsel Robin C. Ashton, of the Office of Professional Responsibility, both in the Department of Justice (DOJ) that Sessions heads. (The complaint is embedded at the end of this post.)

Larrabee has filed a complaint against Sessions with the Alabama State Bar, which could lead to professional sanctions. But the criminal complaint carries much more serious penalties, including the possible loss of Sessions' freedom. Filing of the complaint drew coverage yesterday from The Washington Post and Fortune magazine.

“There is no doubt that Attorney General Sessions falsely denied communicating with Russian officials in testimony before the United States Senate," Larrabee said in a press release. "After this false testimony was revealed, Sessions made other false statements to the American people and to the United States’ Senate. Sessions attempted to conceal and to cover up his misconduct. He illegally interfered with the proper administration of the Department of Justice. The substantial evidence of criminal conduct by Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes it impossible for him to continue leading the Department.”

J. Whitfield Larrabee
Sessions' actions threaten the credibility of the entire DOJ, Larrabee says. "“Attorney General Sessions is putting his own personal interest above the interest of the people of the United States by failing to resign. Because there are grounds not only to investigate, but also to charge Sessions with several crimes, the integrity of the Department of Justice will be destroyed so long as Sessions remains in office. Prosecutors at the Department of Justice cannot properly investigate this matter while Sessions remains in office because of a natural reluctance to aggressively probe and prosecute the leader of their own Department. It is an inherent conflict of interest.”

If Sessions refuses to step down, President Donald Trump has a duty to fire him, Larrabee says. "Because the Attorney General has failed to resign, the President is obligated to put the interests of the people of the United States above his own partisan loyalty to Sessions. If he does what is best for the people of the United States, President Trump will fire the Attorney General.

“Under the regulations of the Department of Justice, the Deputy Attorney General must immediately appoint a Special Counsel to investigate evidence of criminal conduct by Attorney General Sessions.”



19 comments:

Anonymous said...

This Larrabee dude doesn't mess around. I bet old Jeffy's head is spinning.

Anonymous said...

Has any other media outlet in Alabama covered this?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:10 --

I'm not sure. Need to check on that. I know WaPo and Fortune covered it yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Obstruction of justice. I bet that's the one that brings ole Jeffy down.

Anonymous said...

But . . . but . . . Donald Watkins says Sessions is a great guy.

legalschnauzer said...

Jeff Sessions has spent his adult life conning people. Donald Watkins obviously is a bright guy, but even he has fallen victim to a Sessions' con. My guess is that Sessions was nice to Watkins in their law-school days because the future AG wanted something from him. Watkins seems to equate niceness with integrity, and the two are very different. As a journalist, I've interviewed thousands of people over the years, and most have been nice to me. Most, best I can tell, have proven to be nice people in general. But a few proved to be seriously lacking in integrity. They were nice to me because of what I could give them -- free publicity.

Anonymous said...

Two interesting stories at Alabama Political Reporter:


2,000 lawyers ask for Sessions to be disbarred: http://www.alreporter.com/2017/03/28/nearly-2000-lawyers-ask-sessions-disbarred/


Going after Luther Strange's bar card: http://www.alreporter.com/2017/03/28/get-sen-luther-strange-disbarred-practice-law/

legalschnauzer said...

@10:44 --

Thanks for sharing. I'd say Larrabee is way out front on the Sessions story. I believe he and ACLU were first to file bar complaint against Sessions. And I'm pretty sure Larrabee is first, and only, attorney to file criminal complaint.

Anonymous said...

What an embarrassment for our state and nation.

legalschnauzer said...

I don't see anything at al.com re: criminal complaint against Sessions. Maybe that gets too close to the "news organization's" favored children -- those, like Jack Abramoff and Rob Riley, who have ties to Alabama and Russia. Maybe it gets too close to Sessions/Bill Pryor to cook court cases in the 11th Circuit, especially in Northern District of Alabama.

Anonymous said...

PoliticsUSA has coverage on Sessions criminal complaint:


http://www.politicususa.com/2017/03/27/criminal-complaint-filed-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-perjury-obstruction-justice.html

Anonymous said...

Prior to election, Larrabee filed complaints about bribery between Trump and Florida AG Pam Bondi. Americans should have paid attention then.

Anonymous said...

Would be interesting to know more about people who received these complaints.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:19 --

Good idea. Here is bio on Michael Horowitz, the inspector general. He took office in 2012, during Obama admin:

http://www.politicususa.com/2017/03/27/criminal-complaint-filed-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-perjury-obstruction-justice.html

Here is bio on Robin C. Ashton, from OPR. She took office in 2011, also under Obama:

https://www.justice.gov/opr/meet-counsel-0


Anonymous said...

Lock him up!

Anonymous said...

Al.com hasn't covered this story because Rob Riley hasn't given the go-ahead yet.

e.a.f. said...

Oh, thank you for that bit of news. It brightens my day. waking up to CNN with a picture of Sessions yapping on about "illegal" immigrants and sanctuary cities, its so nice to know some one is try to "take care" of sessions. that man really needs to go. Even the daffs are celebrating out in the garden! Brightened up my whole day.

entertaining read at the Guardian paper comparing the President of China to the President of the U.S.A. Upp, I'd say those two boys have a lot in common.

thank you again for the "announcement" regarding Sessions!

legalschnauzer said...

e.a.f. --

I have similar feelings. These people were not duly elected, so they have no earned authority to make decisions. But there is Sessions, flapping his gums. And I see today that Trump is trying to drop US climate policy back decades. Others have said this, and I agree, that we need a mechanism for putting a halt on Trump admin until criminal investigations are complete. The country really screwed up by ever letting the SOB and his minions take office in the first place.

Anonymous said...

2000 lawyers support Sessions disbarment. Gee whiz. That is less than 1/2% of the lawyers in the US. Not exactly a groundswell. Chip Brownlee is a hack. I have a lot of respect for Bill Britt and Brandon Mosley. The others on his staff (especially Josh Moon) not so much.