On Thursday, Republicans Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Kevin McCarthy joined Democrats in calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any official inquiry into ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Already, there were concerns that Sessions could not maintain impartiality over such an investigation. These doubts were greatly exacerbated after reports surfaced that Sessions had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice in the past year. While it might not be uncommon for Senators to meet with top diplomats, Sessions failed to disclose the meetings during his confirmation hearings, which some of his critics say is tantamount to perjury.
Sessions’ office dismissed the allegations and the Trump White House denounced them as partisan attacks.
Ironically, Sessions himself once held strong views on the need to investigate elected officials suspected of perjury. In a 1999 C-SPAN video unearthed by the Intercept’s Lee Fang, then-Senator Sessions declares that the American people deserve to know whether then-President Bill Clinton lied under oath.
“I’m concerned about a President under oath being alleged to have committed perjury. I hope that he can rebut that and prove that did not happen … that he can show that he did not commit obstruction of justice and that he can complete his term,” Sessions says in the clip. “But there are serious allegations that that occurred. And in America, the Supreme Court and the American people believe no one is above the law. The President has gotten himself into this fix that is very serious,” Sessions.