At this point in time we know a few things for certain about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Russians. Most of them? Are that he lied, twice, under oath. He lied on the Senate questionnaire about contact with Russia during the campaign, and he lied under oath in testimony directly to Senator Al Franken (D-MN). We also know he looks like a graying, old Pinocchio without the hat regardless, so that doesn’t help his credibility, but that’s just me being a smart ass.
What someone is going to have to explain to me is how Jeff Sessions is going to get to keep his job, because I don’t think he should get to keep his job. Even if his contact with Russia was under the guise of his duties as a Senator, which is highly dubious since that’s what the Obama State Department would have been tasked with, you still have to square with the fact that he lied. Twice. Under oath. To Congress.
Now, call me totally fucking nuts here, but I seem to recall the entire crux of the anger and outrage over the Bill Clinton Blowjob Affair was less about the illicit hummers — though pious hypocrites like Newt Gingrich and Denny Hastert made sure to play the moral crusader role perfectly — was that Mr. Clinton lied under oath to Congress. So, tell me again how Republicans aren’t howling from the rafters about Sessions needing to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, much less resign?
To be fair, I have seen some Republicans calling for such things, but not enough yet for me to believe it’ll take anything but a massive, converted, organized effort to force more of them to care. Because once they start caring, I just don’t see how our nation’s top law enforcer, the guy who is technically supposed to prosecute people for lying under oath to Congress, can keep his job when it’s proven outright, self-evidently, that he lied through his teeth to Congress.
I’m not even arguing that I have any evidence that when Sessions made contact with the Russians last year that anything “illegal” happened. All I’m saying is that in February of last year he began working very closely with the Trump campaign, and he had contact with Russia after that point. I also know he answered on a questionnaire and to Franken’s direct questioning that he had no knowledge of anyone on the campaign doing such a thing…which is entirely odd because he did such a fucking thing.
There was a time in this country when true scandal was nonpartisan. This should be one of those times. Regardless of the content of the conversations, Sessions straight-up lied about having them. Under oath. In case anyone out in conservative land has forgotten, we hold people to oaths so we have some modicum of trust in their ability to fairly and impartially carry out their duties. We hold them to oaths so we have some kind of mechanism of accountability in case it turns out they lied to us.
It’s time to engage that mechanism.
Someone will truly have to explain to me why I didn’t wake up to find that Sessions had already resigned. Men with more honor and integrity would do it. Hell, Dick Nixon did it, and he had almost no honor and zero integrity.
Again, I’m not arguing evidence of some vast conspiracy to turn the keys to our government over to Vladimir Putin. When all the shit comes out, maybe we’ll find that Putin was doing a healthy bit of trolling and got all these Republican Trumpers to ensnare themselves in a dumb lie, but without much malicious intent beyond that. But boiled down to its most simple essentials, the man is in supposed to be as close to a pillar of trustworthiness as we can afford, and he has proven within a month of having the job that he’s a liar, at least when it’s politically convenient.
So, ultimately, conspiracy or no, Sessions has to go. Maybe it was incompetence more so than duplicity. I don’t really care. All I know is that he lied about something as simple as having contact with the Russian government during the campaign. I’d be willing to believe what he talked about wasn’t illegal, but it doesn’t bode well for his case that he lied about it, period. He has to go. But if he keeps his job it’s for one reason and one reason only.
The Republican Party has no moral compass.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.