WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Another controversy for the Trump Administration, this time at the Department of Justice. Questions linger over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ contact with Russians during the 2016 campaign. It is causing division on Capitol Hill. While some lawmakers find the reports to be a witch-hunt, others believe they could pose a problem.
Rep. Butterfield (D-NC) says if the reports are true, the controversy could be bigger than "Watergate".
The Washington Post reported Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian Ambassador twice last year. At the time he was an Alabama Senator and a surrogate for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked what he would do if evidence revealed people from the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government.
“I’m not aware of any of those activities,” said Sessions. “I have been called a surrogate a time or two...and I did not have communications with the Russians.”
“This is pretty serious,” said Rep. GK Butterfield (D-NC). “It could rise to a level higher than ‘Watergate.’”
Butterfield says the Attorney General should at least recuse himself from investigations pertaining to alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
“If we find that Russia interfered with this election last year, then there needs to be consequences both for Russia and for those within the Donald Trump administration found to be responsible,” said Butterfield.
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) says he trusts Sessions to recuse himself when needed and expects him to make the right decision in this situation. But other Republicans on Capitol Hill say Sessions was carrying out his senatorial duties.
“As a U.S. Senator, you’ll have discussions on arm services related issues with different ambassadors, so I don’t see what the issue is,” said Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV).
Mooney says he believes it is an effort to derail the administration.
“I don’t think it’s helpful to our country to have nitpicking and continual attacks and distractions,” said Mooney. “I think it’s a non issue frankly for our country and we need to move forward with President Trump’s agenda.”
House and Senate Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have called for Sessions’ resignation. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) says Sessions should not have to recuse himself from an investigation unless he is the subject.