Minnesota Senator Al Franken said he thinks Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury when he failed to disclose his meetings with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearing. The written defense of Sessions’s testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee did not convince Franken.
“It’s hard to come to any other conclusion than he just perjured himself,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. It was Franken who asked the key question during the confirmation hearing whose response put Sessions in the center of a media and political firestorm. The controversy forced Sessions to recuse himself from any Department of Justice investigation into Russia’s hacking during the 2016 election, coming amidst numerous calls from Democrats for him to resign.
Some context here: Al Franken – who previously was a Saturday Night Live cast member, as well as a liberal pundit and talk radio host – has kept pretty quiet in terms of partisan rhetoric since he was elected to the Senate. Franken and Sessions were both members of that elite political club that which, despite sharp political differences, tends to place an emphasis on decorum among its members.
In other words, accusing Sessions of perjury is not a charge that Franken makes lightly. I’m old enough to remember the controversy surrounding John Ashcroft’s nomination as attorney general. The controversy over Sessions even before the Russia controversy erupted makes Ashcroft look tame by comparison.