Call Your Members of Congress · Ethics · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Tell Your MoCs You Want Jeff Sessions to Resign

UPDATE: We first published this post months ago, when the news of Sessions’s problematic statements under oath broke. We’re putting this post back in heavy rotation now that we know Sessions was involved in the firing of FBI director James Comes, which appears to be a violation of his promise to recuse himself from matters touching on Trump’s ties to Russia.

Scroll down for an updated sample script to use when calling your senators to ask for the resignation of U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions.

Call your members of Congress and say that you want Jeff Sessions to resign over statements he made during his Senate confirmation hearings that could constitute perjury.

A previous blog post asked you to call your members of Congress and demand that Sessions recuse himself from any investigations arising from the Russia scandals. On March 2, Sessions finally agreed to that–but that was pretty much because news broke that he gave answers during his January Senate confirmation hearings that could constitute perjury.

During the hearings, Senator Al Franken asked Sessions, under oath, what he would do if “there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign.”

Sessions responded: “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I didn’t have —did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”

The Washington Post reported on March 1 that Sessions had in fact spoken with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak in July 2016 and again in September 2016.

Republicans, or at least those who have ventured to speak on the topic, are calling it a “grave omission” or calling for Sessions to “clarify his testimony.” They are not using the p-word. It can be argued that what Sessions said was highly misleading, but not severe enough to qualify as perjury. Even still, it still looks bad enough that Sessions should resign. Unlike the statements that Bill Clinton made under oath about Monica Lewinsky, Sessions’s statements under oath about whether or not he had contact with Russian officials is a serious matter of national importance.

 

Important note: Is your house rep part of the House Judiciary Committee? Is one of your senators on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary? Then it’s extra-important for you to call. Check these links before dialing.

House Judiciary Committee:

https://judiciary.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

Senate Committee on the Judiciary:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

 

Special note if one of your senators is Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon: Call and thank him for demanding that Sessions resign for disobeying his recusal in helping to fire Comey. See more in the link below:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/332767-dem-senator-calls-on-sessions-to-resign-amid-comey-firing

 

Sample script, updated as of May 10: “I’m (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I’m calling to ask (Representative/Senator Lastname) to ask you to demand that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions resign over his involvement in the firing of FBI director James Comey. After the Washington Post showed that Sessions had made problematic statements during his cabinet confirmation hearings about his contacts with Russians, Sessions agreed to recuse himself from matters related to Trump and Russia. His involvement in Comey’s firing flouts his promise to recuse himself. In showing Comey the door, he proves that he is not fit to hold the office of U.S. Attorney General. Please demand that he leave his post.”

 

Here are some more links about Jeff Sessions and his involvement in the Comey firing:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/332671-dem-senator-sessions-recommendation-to-fire-comey-a-complete-betrayal

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/332651-sessions-was-told-to-find-reasons-to-fire-comey-reports

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/5/10/15610862/sessions-rosenstein-comey-justice-fbi

http://reason.com/blog/2017/05/10/jeff-sessions-defense-of-james-comey-con

 

Original Sample script: “I’m (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I’m calling to ask (Representative/Senator Lastname) to ask you to demand that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions resign over statements he made during his Senate confirmation hearings that have since proven false. While under oath, he stated that he did not have communications with the Russians, but the Washington Post has since proven that he spoke with the country’s ambassador in July and September. Even if his statement doesn’t technically rise to the level of perjury, which is debatable, he should go. We can’t have an attorney general who is clouded by credible accusations of perjury.”

Read the WaPo story that confirmed that Sessions had spoken twice with the Russian ambassador, though he had made claims to the contrary under oath:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html?tid=pm_pop&utm_term=.f0bd6863a631

 

See this handy New York Times timeline, which contains the Franken-Sessions exchange cited above:

Read this eye-opening New York Times op-ed from a former ethics adviser to President George W. Bush:

 

Another NYT story on how Republicans now agree Sessions should recuse himself, but can’t bring themselves to say he perjured himself during his Senate confirmation hearing testimony: