The Department of Justice has confirmed that the mealy-mouthed, racist Keebler elf and attorney general of the United States Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russian officials last year when applying for his security clearance, according to CNN.
In March, Sessions assured the Senate Judiciary Comittee and a wary American public that his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 election were not improper in any way because they occurred when he was a senator and not a surrogate for Donald Trump. Those meetings he thought were perfectly fine were also not disclosed during his confirmation hearings when Senator Al Franken asked him point blank if he was aware of any communication between Trump surrogates and Russian officials during the campaign. Sessions claimed ignorance at the time, which is funny because he actually did meet with this goddamned ambassador but used some semantic gymnastics in an attempt to evade questions and avoid the truth.
CNN reports that Sessions met with Kislyak at least two times last year, both of which were not disclosed on his security forms, which required him to list “any contact” he or his family members might have had with foreign officials or representatives over the past seven years. Despite having very clear instructions on how to complete this form, Sessions interpreted the instructions rather loosely.
Sessions initially listed a year’s worth of meetings with foreign officials on the security clearance form, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores. But she says he and his staff were then told by an FBI employee who assisted in filling out the form, known as the SF-86, that he didn’t need to list dozens of meetings with foreign ambassadors that happened in his capacity as a senator.
There is one caveat to the rule—if the meetings with foreign contacts were part of conferences that were attended by the federal official in question on government business, they’re not required to be accounted for. But, CNN notes that Sessions’ meetings were not tied to conferences at all. A statement from spokesman Ian Prior made clear that hey, he didn’t do anything wrong because the FBI said so.
“As a United States Senator, the Attorney General met hundreds — if not thousands — of foreign dignitaries and their staff. In filling out the SF-86 form, the Attorney General’s staff consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities.”
It’s unclear as to why the FBI would’ve said not to disclose the meetings with Kislyak, even if they happened in Sessions’ capacity as a seantor. Making that mental leap requires interpreting the rather clear instruction to list “any contact” with foreign governments or their representatives in a way that I cannot even begin to fathom.
If this sounds familiar, you’ll remember that Micheal Flynn is in a whole heap of trouble regarding his relationships with Russia and other foreign governments. Donald Trump’s oily son-in-law Jared Kushner also pulled a Sessions; in April Kushner omitted dozens of meetings with Russian officials on his security clearance forms, in what his lawyer said was a “mistake.”