U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) said last night he could reach no other conclusion than Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions committed perjury when he falsely stated under other that he had not communicated with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.
Franken, who asked the questions that led to Sessions' false statement in a confirmation hearing, raised the perjury issue in interviews with CNN and MSNBC. In both interviews, Franken noted that Sessions (a former U.S. senator from Alabama) on Monday had filed a letter and supplemental answer to Congress, stating that his oral statement to Franken was "correct."
Franken called Sessions' letter "ridiculous" and "absurd." From an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper (see full interview at top of this post):
That's a ridiculous response. It's not a clarification at all. . . . He answered a question that he asked himself . . . and he answered it falsely.
I've been cutting him a lot of slack, refusing to say he lied, I wanted to wait for this letter to come out. It's hard to come to any other conclusion but he perjured himself. . . .
I think he should come before the committee and explain it. No one asked him about the Russian ambassador; he's the one who volunteered that information, that he didn't speak to anybody, and it turned out he had met twice with Russian ambassador, once in a private meeting.
He had seven weeks to notify us. This is about Russian government hijacking our election, and whether there was any collusion in that interference with the Trump campaign. . . .
It's very clear I did not push [Sessions] into saying, "I didn't meet with the Russians."
In his amendment letter to Congress, Sessions said he answered the Franken question "honestly." In an interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, Franken wasn't buying it (Full interview is at end of this post):
Democrats on the committee asked why he didn't, in seven weeks after he misled us there, why he didn't correct it, and the response was absurd. He said, "Having considered my answer responsive and no one having suggested otherwise, there was no need for a supplemental answer. . . ."
This is serious stuff. He is the second administration official who has lied about contact with the Russians, and it all goes to the fact Russians interfered with our elections. And the question is: Did the Trump campaign and its people collude with Russians?
What do Russians have on Trump? Why does he say all of these positive things about Putin? Why lie about taxes. Getting more and more disturbing all the time.
Franken first came to widespread public notice as a comedian. But he sees nothing funny about the evolving KremlinGate scandal:
I don't think it was gotcha question. Would you recuse yourself was basically what I was asking. Instead, he said he hadn't met with Russians, and of course, he had.
I think clear it's that something is desperately wrong.
The letter just sort of insults the intelligence in a way that is mind-boggling. That's why I say there is no other conclusion but that he committed perjury.
I would like him to come testify before the committee so he can explain it. This letter is ridiculous and insults the intelligence. . . . This is getting stranger and stranger. The clock is ticking. Was Trump campaign colluding to change our election?
This letter is classic Sessions. It's the kind of BS he's been getting away with in Alabama for years.
Nice to see that Franken is too smart to fall for Sessions' con game.
Sessions really screwed up with his letter Monday. If should have tried to clarify his oral statement somehow, say he misunderstood the question or something. Instead, he said the statement was correct, when it clearly was not. He lied, and he was under oath.
Jeff Sessions isn't all that smart. As a resident of Mobile, AL, I've known that for a long time. The whole country knows it now, and this thing will get worse before it gets better.
It appears Charles Todd Henderson also did commit perjury per al.com article and transcript. What's up with AG/DA types lying?
As Lawrence O'Donnell said, Sessions letter about perjury just added to the perjury.
In addition to dispensing goodies with his "private prison" memo -- http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/private-prisons-here-s-why-sessions-memo-matters-n725316 -- he's already done plenty of damage that needs to be investigated even if he does get booted.
Today’s example is Attorney General Jeff Sessions. When he was Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, he was an ally in the fight against big government. He favored decentralization. He supported rolling back the welfare state. He favored entitlement reform. He supported tax cuts. He used his power and position to try to do the right thing. But when Trump asked Sessions to join his cabinet, it wasn’t to head the Office of Management and Budget, a position that would have been a good fit. Instead, Trump picked him to be Attorney General, which is problematical because Sessions is an advocate of the failed War on Drugs. And he’s also a supporter of “asset forfeiture,” which occurs when governments steal money and property from citizens without convicting them of any crime. Or sometimes without even charging them with a crime.
Franken is a comedian, not a lawyer. He's not qualified to make a determination re: perjury.
Someone has to be a lawyer to reach a conclusion on perjury charge? Not sure it's all that complicated. Not sure lawyers always are all that smart.
Thanks for bringing to our attention the latest al.com articles on Henderson case. I'm not sure what to make of them. The Kent Faulk story and the John Archibald story seem to assume that private investigators, indeed, found evidence of Henderson's affair with Mrs. Akl, but they don't specifically say that.
As I read it, Archibald flat-out says Henderson lied under oath, but I don't see where he presents any evidence to suggest the PIs were right, and Henderson was wrong. Perhaps Faulk and Archibald have seen such evidence, but as I read it, they don't say that in their articles. In fact, I don't recall them even identifying the PIs.
Did the PIs provide evidence to the AG's office to prove Henderson lied? Have Faulk and Archibald seen such evidence? Have the PIs signed affidavits, perhaps backed by photographs, video, etc.?
It might be proven that Henderson lied under oath, but I'm not convinced these stories today do the trick. Archibald says Henderson will never become Jeffco DA, but I don't see what supports that at this point.
Here are URLs to today's two al.com stories on Henderson case:
A commenter at al.com raises some pretty interesting points about the Henderson situation . . .
Vesco 17 hours ago
What proof do they have that it was Henderson they saw going into & out of the apt? What if it was just someone who looked like him. Did they stop and talk with him, take pictures, if so how far off were they? Does the word photo shop ring a bell? Do they have DNA? Can they be sure he did not leave during the night without them seeing it. Did they have someone guarding the back door? What proof do they have that he was in the apt the whole night? What name is the property listed in, how do we know who else may have been in that apt that night. How do we not know that his mother was in that apt and that was who he had come to visit? What is the legal definition of "spent the night" Some might think of it as having sex with someone while others may look at it as spending capital during the hours of darkness. Was she on the clock and doing campaign work for him on the night in question? The question was since she has been campaigning for you, have you spent the night at her apt? Well, if on the day in question she was not campaigning for him, then no would be the correct answer. I'm no lawyer but have watched enough Perry Mason to know when it comes to lawyers and the legal word, nothing is as clear as one might think.
If this evidence was so strong, why didn't AG use at least some of it in the Henderson indictment. I'm not sure there ever was probable cause for an arrest.
Whaddya want to bet that al.com and Riley Inc. are collaborating on the Henderson story?
Interesting political angle on Henderson story:
Attorney Virginia Meigs apparently played key role in releasing transcript. She ran for judgeship, on GOP ticket, but lost in Nov. 2016. Henderson ran as a Democrat and won. Maybe Ms. Meigs is bitter that white GOPers can no longer win Jeffco races, but Henderson won as a white Democrat over Riley pick, Brandon Falls.
Meigs is a Federalist Society type, which means she is from the "Bill Pryor School of Law" and is right up Riley Inc.'s alley.
From al.com story:
"While it did not come out in the transcript, Meigs and Akl said that private eyes hired by Akl had spotted Henderson staying overnight at Ms. Akl's apartment twice in August and once in September before the trial."
This story is based on unsworn statement from the ex husband and his lawyer, Ms. Meigs. Their statements might prove to be true, but right now, they seem to lack proof that Henderson lied under oath.
God you people are delusional. Al Franken quotes a "story" from CNN and asks him what he would do if members of Trump's campaign had "an exchange of information with Russian intermediaries." How the hell is Sessions's response perjury? He will not resign, and the Dems will look like a bunch of cuckholded husbands at the end of this nasty ordeal. The desperation from the Left is unbelievable.
And any of you questioning the validity of the perjury charges against Henderson will be sorely disappointed when all of the evidence comes out. Jim Parkman is a great courtroom lawyer, but when the video and photos are shown to the jury it will be all over but the crying.
sessions may regret the day he decided Franken wasn't smart as he was. Session, perhaps because he spent so much time in his early years in Alabama thought he was smarter than every body else and he could get away with things. Not so much. Must say I'm enjoying this ever so much. Would love to be a fly on the wall at session's office. Lets hope this puts an end to session's brief career as A.G. nice thought. Now if they could just find a way to get rid of that Trump guy.../..
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