US Congressmen Stephen Lynch and Michael Capuano have joined a chorus of Massachusetts voices calling for Jeff Session’s resignation as Attorney General, after reports surfaced that he twice spoke to the Russian ambassador to the United States over the last year.
Lynch and Capuano represent sections of Dorchester in the US House of Representatives.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Sessions spoke with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak privately in September and again with other ambassadors in July. This revelation seemed to contradict Sessions’ statement under oath during his confirmation hearings in January.
Sessions was asked at the hearing about a CNN story reporting that intelligence officials told the Obama and incoming Trump administrations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising information the president-elect, as well as indicating that Trump and Russian surrogates were in communication during the campaign.
Sessions was “not aware of any of those activities,” he said, adding, “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.”
Congressmen Lynch and Capuano released statements Thursday asking for the recently confirmed attorney general’s resignation and the launch of an independent investigation.
“Attorney General Jeff Session should resign immediately,” said Lynch, who has been vocal in calling for an investigation into any Russian involvement win the 2016 election. “It is deeply troubling that he repeatedly lied under oath when questioned about his contacts with Russia. It is clear that by his false and perjurious statements during his confirmation hearing that he has rendered himself unfit to serve as our nation’s chief law enforcement officer.”
“The Russian hacking and interference in the 2016 election threatens the integrity of our democratic process,” Lynch continued. “I believe that Congress should immediately begin the process of appointing an independent special prosecutor on this matter.”
Capuano concurred, saying, “Reports that Attorney General Sessions lied under oath about communicating with Russian officials are deeply disturbing. There is just no question that the AG’s offer to recuse himself from investigations into Trump associates’ contacts with the Russians is no longer enough. AG Sessions should resign today and an independent investigation into the larger question of President Trump and his associates’ ties to and communication with Russia should commence immediately.”
The rest of the Massachusetts delegation -- US Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, as well as US Reps. Katherine Clark, Seth Moulton, Jim McGovern, Niki Tsongas, Bill Keating and Richard Neal -- has unanimously called for Sessions to resign from his post. In a flurry of tweets on Monday, Warren said, “This is not normal. This is not fake news. This is a very real & serious threat to the national security of the United States.”