Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the election has entangled the attorney general. In his sworn testimony during his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions was asked by Senator Al Franken, “If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?” Sessions responded: “Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have—did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.”
But George Papadopoulos’s guilty plea indicates that there were attempts in the Trump campaign to arrange a meeting with Putin, and that Sessions was aware of them. As CNN reports this morning, “The chairman of Trump’s national security team, then Alabama Senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, shut down the idea of a Putin meeting at the March 31, 2016, gathering, according to the source. His reaction was confirmed with another source who had discussed Sessions’s role.”
The good news for Sessions is that he can plausibly claim to have opposed any Russian collusion. The bad news is that, in making those claims, he opens himself up to charges of perjury.