Attorney General Sessions must resign after breach of public trust

ROGER CALDWELL | 3/9/2017, midnight
“Jeff Sessions is an honest man,” said President Trump. “He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his ...
Jeff Sessions CNN photo

“Jeff Sessions is an honest man,” said President Trump. “He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional.”

If Sessions was an honest man, why did he not tell the truth during his confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee? As the “Top Cop” in the land, the attorney general must engender faith and confidence in every decision he makes because they affect the public trust.

Chris Van Hollen of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said, “The attorney general of the United States must have the people’s trust as an honest and independent broker who upholds the law. In failing to tell the truth—under oath—about his conversations with Russia, Jeff Sessions has failed to meet that standard, and he must resign.”

There are no gray areas with the attorney general, and there are no second chances. Sessions lied. He is the chief law enforcement officer, chief lawyer and chief prosecutor in our government. When the American people cannot trust our chief law enforcement officer, then who can we trust?

Thursday, March 2, Sessions held a news conference, and I expected him to resign, but he acted as if he had not violated or broken any laws. In fact, it appeared as though he thought he’d done the American people a favor by announcing his intention to recuse himself from any executive branch investigations into the Trump campaign.

The problem with Trump’s administration is they are dealing from the bottom of the deck. They have been in cover-up mode from the very beginning, and they are hiding something.

“Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,” Sessions said at a hastily called news conference at the Justice Department. “And the idea that I was part of a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government is totally false.”

The Washington Post revealed that Sessions had met twice with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign. Somehow, our attorney general was experiencing amnesia under oath, and he failed to disclose the meetings during his Senate confirmation hearings.

Now Trump is calling this scandal “a witch hunt.” Also, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a public statement calling this scandal “a witch hunt.” Something just does not smell right when the president and the Russian foreign minister agree that a lie from our chief law enforcement officer should be excused, and any accusations of misconduct should be swept under the rug.

Sessions has perjury, and lying under oath is a criminal offense. Perjury occurs when someone makes a false statement after being sworn to tell the truth. This falsehood was not a mistake; it was intentional. Sessions has damaged his credibility and fundamentally impaired his ability to run the Department of Justice.

Michael Flynn was forced to resign because he lied and broke the law. There is no difference in what Sessions has done. Sessions must resign immediately, and confusion and amnesia cannot be used where there should only be truth.

America’s public trust is at stake, and President Trump must ask for Sessions’ resignation. There should be no discussion that Sessions must go.

The rule of law should always prevail and once there is a breach of the public trust, the individual must exit his or her post. Sessions has broken the public trust, and the Department of Justice needs a new leader.