Jeff Sessions misled Congress, likely with what should have been considered grand perjury, during his confirmation hearing. The Attorney General intentionally left out mentions of meetings with Russian officials when being confirmed by the House and Senate.
It appears that there were even more meetings than previously imagined though, as a lobbyist for Russian interests is claiming that he attended two dinners hosted by Sessions. This directly contradicts what Sessions said during a public hearing before congress this past week.
Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. But Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.
“I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Senator Sessions,” Burt said.
Asked whether Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt’s role as a lobbyist for Russian interests – a fact that is disclosed in public records – or had any reason to be confused about the issue, Burt told the Guardian that he did not know.
But Sessions told congress he wasn’t aware of any such lobbyist:
When John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona who is a frequent critic of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin, asked Sessions in a hearing this week before the Senate intelligence committee about whether the attorney general had ever had “any contacts with any representative, including any American lobbyist or agent of any Russian company” during the 2016 campaign, Sessions said he did not.
“I don’t believe so,” Sessions said. […]
It is also possible that Sessions was not fully aware of Burt’s lobbying history, although Burt’s affiliation with Russian interests is fairly well known in Washington circles.
According to Politico’s first report on the dinners months ago, Burt came at Sessions’ invitation:
In addition to helping shape Trump’s speech, Burt attended two dinners this summer hosted by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who had been named chairman of Trump’s national security committee. Burt was invited to discuss issues of national security and foreign policy, and wrote white papers for Sessions on the same subjects, according to Burt and another person with knowledge of the situation.
It’s also interesting to note, as Politico points out, “In recent years, the 69-year-old Burt said he has advised Russia’s Alfa Bank, and he continues to work with the bank’s co-founder, Mikhail Fridman.”
Alfa-Bank is the now famous Russian bank that had thousands of communications with Trump’s server during his campaign.
Every day, a new lie comes to light. A new lie showing just how deeply connected all these people who claim not to be connected to Russia are in fact connected to Russia.
The top law enforcement official in the nation shouldn’t be allowed to so thoroughly and consistently lie to Congress and the American people. Sessions must be held accountable.