Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) drew an irritated response from Jeff Sessions when he accused the U.S. attorney general of lying under oath in his testimony about his contacts with Russian government officials.
In particular, Lieu pointed out that Sessions wrote on his security clearance form that he did not have any contacts within the last seven years with foreign government officials, despite the fact that he met at least twice last year with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“What I was told by my executive assistant when we did this form earlier, and then again when I was nominated for attorney general, is that the FBI authority says members of Congress and… government officials meeting people on an official basis, we were not required to list all these contacts.”
“Nothing in that question says you get to answer any differently because you are a U.S. senator rather than, say, a young police officer,” Lieu shot back. “Isn’t that right?”
Lieu finished up his questioning of Sessions by again pointing out that Sessions testified under oath that he had not met with any Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign, even though he later acknowledged the meetings with Kislyak.
“That’s exactly the opposite answer you gave under oath to the U.S. Senate,” Lieu said. “So again, either you are lying to the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives.”
Sessions at this point grew annoyed and insisted that his original answer about meeting with Kislyak was to deny “the shocking suggestion that I, as a surrogate, was meeting on a continuing basis with Russian officials and the implication was to impact the campaign in some sort of nefarious way.”
Sessions then began rambling about the prospects of suing Lieu after he accused the attorney general of lying.
“I appreciate the Congressmen’s right, I guess he can say it’s free speech, he can’t be sued here, so, that’s just, my response and I’m sorry that, that’s my response,” he said.
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