Mueller Report: Special Counsel Investigated Jeff Sessions Over Possible Perjury
Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for possible perjury due to a series of misstatements he made while under oath about his contacts with Russia during his confirmation hearing. It was eventually determined that investigators could not prove that Sessions was “willfully untruthful.”
In early January 2017, Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Sen. Al Franken, a former Democrat of Minnesota, that “he did not have communications with the Russians” in response to the then-senators question about his contacts with Russia. Investigators in the special counsel’s office disputed this claim, however, finding that Sessions met with Russian officials at least twice in 2016, and possibly a third that could not be confirmed.
Mueller considered perjury charges against Jeff Sessions, but decided his excuse was “plausible”. pic.twitter.com/McKPzX8zeW
— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) April 18, 2019
The report states that “the office considered whether, in light of these interactions, Sessions committed perjury” before eventually concluding that although the investigation established that Sessions met with Kislyak and “mentioned the presidential campaign on at least one occasion” that the evidence “makes it plausible” that the former Attorney General “did not recall discussing the campaign” at the time.
The report also notes that Sessions interpreted the Judiciary Committees question “as narrowly calling for the disclosure of interactions with Russians that involved the exchange of campaign information, as distinguished from more routine contacts with Russian nationals.” The investigators also found “given the context in which the question was asked,” that that too was “plausible.”
cspan: Jeff Sessions at his January 10 confirmation hearing: “I did not have communications with the Russians.” pic.twitter.com/UrmEn95ucg
— Party of Lincoln (@OfLincoln) March 2, 2017