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BUSTED: Evidence mounts that Jeff Sessions perjured himself under Al Franken questioning

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is suddenly facing an active dilemma.

A guilty plea signed last month by one of his former Trump campaign underlings revealed this week shows he likely perjured himself during his confirmation hearing — and he doesn’t have a good option to wriggle out of it.

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Sessions told Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) at the January hearing that he was “not aware” of evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government during the campaign, according to the New Republic.

He walked back those claims last month during another Senate hearing, telling Franken he “conducted no improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding the campaign or any other item facing this country.”

But court filings, and a new CNN report, show he was aware of evidence that at least one campaign associate was in contact with Russia.

George Papadopoulos, who served on the foreign policy advisory committee that Sessions oversaw, pleaded guilty Oct. 5 to lying to FBI agents in January and February.

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The guilty plea Papadopoulos signed shows the campaign adviser communicated with Russians promising stolen campaign information on Hillary Clinton, and he tried repeatedly to set up meetings between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Papadopoulos told other committee members, and Trump himself, about his contacts with Russia during a March 31, 2016, meeting — and proposed arranging for the Republican candidate to meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

According to a CNN report Wednesday, Trump “didn’t say yes and he didn’t say no.”

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But Sessions, then an Alabama senator and chairman of his national security team, shut down the proposal, according to one person present for the meeting and confirmed by another source.

The guilty plea shows Papadopoulos continued trying to arrange a meeting between campaign officials and Russia until at least August 2016.

J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman and Trump campaign national security adviser who attended the meeting, told CNN that Papadopoulos “obviously went to great lengths to go around me and Sen. Sessions.”

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There’s no evidence at this point to contradict Gordon’s claim — but the new revelations still leave Sessions in a position where he’s damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.

“The good news for Sessions is that he can plausibly claim to have opposed any Russian collusion,” writes the New Republic‘s Jeet Heer. “The bad news is that, in making those claims, he opens himself up to charges of perjury.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Gov. Jay Inslee withdraws from presidential election

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he was officially leaving the presidential race Thursday.

He said that he got into the race with the intention of trying to raise the important issue of climate change and demand the issue be part of the conversation in the debates.

The Democratic Party has refused to have a debate that focuses exclusively on climate change, despite the numerous plans, ideas and approaches from the 20-plus candidates running for president.

He said that he isn't currently endorsing other candidates for 2020, but he hopes that his "atlas" for a climate plan will be adopted by other candidates.

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Scorching WaPo editorial tells Trump to own his bad economy and stop blaming the fed

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

In a scathing piece from the Washington Post editorial board, the team at one of the nation's top papers told President Donald Trump to stop trying to pretend it's the Federal Reserve's fault for a slumping economy.

Trump has tried to claim that the economy isn't just fine, but outstanding and excelling expectations. Yet, in the same breath, Trump claims that that the Federal Reserve is responsible for all of the problems he says don't exist. It's enough for The Post editorial board to note the economic message is "remarkably dissonant."

Trump decided to that the Fed must lower interest rates and engage in “quantitative easing” to lower bonds. It's part of a tactic the Fed uses during tough times, which Trump says don't exist. Even during the worst financial crisis in a generation, in 2008, "quantitative easing" was controversial. Then there is the matter of a payroll tax cut, something Trump said he was looking at before saying he wasn't looking at it. But if there's no crisis, then why is it necessary.

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This passage was deleted from the Declaration of Independence — here’s what it reveals about motivation for the American revolution

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With the publication of its 1619 Project, a sweeping review of the role slavery played in the formation of the United States’ politics, economy, and society, the New York Time Magazine has struck a powerful chord and triggered a fierce debate. Many conservative and right-wing figures, in particular, have been aggrieved by the project’s apparent aim: a deconstruction and revaluation of American founding myths.

In particular, writer Nikole Hannah-Jones provoked controversy when she asserted:

She noted that “10 of this nation’s first 12 presidents were enslavers,” undermining claims that the country was founded as a democracy. She also pointed out that the founders were themselves actively conflicted about the contradiction of slavery persisting in a country supposedly founded on freedom. Thomas Jefferson, she said, even included a passage in a draft of the Declaration of Independence that tried to claim that the institution “wasn’t the colonists’ fault,” instead placing the blame on King George.

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