Thursday, March 2, 2017

In brief: Sessions must go!

Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III was never fit to hold the office of Attorney General. Sessions has a record of discriminating against minorities and has already shown himself unwilling to protect all of our citizens. He was appointed, not for what he prospectively brought to the position, but because he was an early Trump supporter. Well, that's politics.

Nevertheless, Sessions lied to Congress in his confirmation hearings. He claimed that he had no contacts with anyone in the Russian government during the campaign. We now know that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice; once at the Republican National Convention in July and again in September. We are right to be considerably agitated that there was a meeting at the RNC. Furthermore, numerous members of the Trump administration are fully aware that Sessions lied to Congress and did nothing about it. America first?

If these meetings concerned routine congressional business then most people would have disclosed the existence of those meetings for the record. Therefore, it seems that Sessions attempted to cover up what he knew was a lie. Why was it so important for Sessions to distance himself from communications with Russia that he was willing to perjure himself?

Then there is the issue of judgment. Both of those meetings occurred while there was already concern for Russian involvement in the election. Sessions should have, and presumably could have, avoided any contact with the Russian ambassador, even if we somehow believe that those meetings had nothing to do with the election which seems doubtful.

It is indisputable that Russian intelligence meddled in our presidential election in order to assist Donald Trump. We do not know the full extent of their involvement. We also know that Trump has claimed to have a close relationship with Putin and to never have met Putin. One of those statements is a lie. The lie is less important than the reasons for it.

The most important things that we do not know are the extent to which the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian intelligence regarding their election activities and whether or not Donald Trump was aware, or even participated in, that coordination. In point of fact we have not been permitted to fully understand Trump's relationship with Russia and it is deeply disturbing that Trump has been a consistent apologist for Mr. Putin who is an authoritarian dictator.

In a prior era an investigation would have begun with Michael Flynn being immunized and brought before Congress or a grand jury regardless of the politics. Sadly, those days are over. Trump can seemingly do anything and have the vast majority of Republicans publicly support him.

What other relationships might Trump have that could compromise governance? We don't know. Trump is a pathological liar which means that we cannot believe anything that comes out of his mouth.

Were it not for politics we would enact a measure that would require a presidential candidate to submit his or her tax returns and complete a thorough conflicts of interest questionnaire. We should never again allow someone to be elected to the highest office in the land without full and accurate financial disclosure.

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