The allegations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony are false.
Perjury, as a matter of law, must be a willfully false testimony. Willfulness is criminal law’s most demanding mens rea requirement.
In his confirmation hearing, Sessions said he did not have any contact with the Russians as part of the campaign. He answered the question he was asked. Therefore, when there is an allegation of perjury, the alleged false statements must be considered in context. Any ambiguity is construed in favor of innocence. If there is a potential misunderstanding, the lack of clarity is deemed the fault of the questioner, not the accused.
This is the transcript of the exchange between Sessions and Senator Al Franken (D., Minn.):
Sessions stated that he did not have “communications with the Russians.” We now know there were at least two occasions during the 2016 campaign where Sessions, then a senator and a member of the chamber’s Armed Services Committee, had contact with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.
The first can be dismissed: Sessions saw a group of ambassadors including Kislyak, of other at a Heritage Foundation reception during the Republican convention.
As Sessions was leaving the podium, a group of diplomats, including Kislyak, came over to Sessions to chat briefly; to compliment him on his remarks. The Washington Post described it as a chance meeting.
A second meeting occurred in September in Sessions’ Senate office. The Post dramatically claims that this meeting occurred “at the height of what U.S. intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the U.S. presidential race.” It’s obvious that description is meant to hype the truth.
A U.S. intelligence report claimed the Russian cyber effort targeted both major parties, not just Democrats. The successful hacking of Democratic e-mail accounts had already happened by September. There is no evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign was in any way complicit in the hacking. Also, there’s no evidence the hacking affected the outcome of the election. If there’s no evidence, then there’s no story right? Not if you are the desperate Democrat Party trying to de-legitimize the Presidential election of Donald Trump.
The entire story is built on speculation. There is no truth in it because the entire mainstream media and all the democrats would be waving said proof like a banner for all to see. This is about a sad party who lost the election, and a complicit media who’s willing to help them try and take President Trump down.
I am so disappointed in the Attorney General’s decision to recuse himself from the Russian hacking investigation. It proves he is not a fighter. The President said he did not believe Sessions should recuse himself. Sessions recusing himself gives Democrats a win. I am not surprised they have started to demand that he step down. They smell blood in the water and you can bet they are circling him for the kill. However, the one they want is Trump. We can be certain that these attacks will only intensify.