Jeff Sessions Sure Condemned Perjury Back in 1999

by Joseph D. Lyons
Zach Gibson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose his contact with Russia's ambassador when asked about it under oath during his confirmation hearing. Through his spokeswoman, Sessions called the allegation "false" and said "I never met with any Russian officials to discuss the issues of the campaign" (though as the Post's Aaron Blake pointed out, he's not accused of specifically discussing "issues of the campaign," just that he lied about the contact). As the report raises red flags about how truthful Sessions was, a video of Sessions condemning perjury has resurfaced and could become really ironic.

The Washington Post reported that Sessions had twice been in contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States, according to Justice Department officials. However, as the report noted, when asked about allegations regarding the Trump campaign's contact with Russia during his confirmation hearing for Attorney General, Sessions said, "I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians."

Several Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have called on Sessions to step down for "lying under oath," as she said in her statement.

This report would be bad enough as is for Sessions, but it may sting even more thanks to this video of a C-SPAN interview from 1999, when another famous politician was in the hot seat.

That was, of course, Bill Clinton, who was impeached for obstruction of justice and lying under oath during an investigation into his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Well, Sessions was in the Senate at the time, and he had plenty to say on the matter:

People say the Republicans, the Republicans. People see things differently, just because then, just what party you belong to. I am concerned about a president under oath being alleged to have committed perjury. I hope that he can rebut that and prove that did not happen. I hope he can show he did not commit obstruction of justice. And that he can complete his term. But there are serious allegations that that occurred. And in America, the Supreme Court and the American people believe no one is above the law. And the president has gotten himself into this fix that is very serious. I intend to give him an absolutely fair trial.

These words could come back to haunt him. After all, allegedly lying under oath is not the only concern. There's the fact that the alleged lie centers on contact with Russia — and the investigation into Russia's potential influence on the election is something that Sessions will be overseeing given his role at the Department of Justice.

At this rate, Sessions could become the second Trump administration official to fall due to contacts with Russia. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had also lied about communication with Russia before he was given the heave-ho. It could just be a matter of time before Sessions is the next to exit the Trump White House.