Trump supporters will cry “fake news.” Democrats will call for impeachment. Here is what is actually most likely to happen with the Washington Post’s Sessions bombshell.
On Wednesday night, The Washington Post reported that then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) had two separate contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. in 2016.
A Sessions spokesman told the Post that Sessions’ conversations were about Senate Armed Services Committee business, but 20 other committee members reached by the Post “said they did not meet with the Russian ambassador last year.”
Sessions had told the Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing to lead the DOJ in January that he did not have contact with “the Russians”:
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 2, 2017
As with any Russia developments in Washington these days, there’s a lot of reaction pouring in. Here’s what Trump supporters want, what Democrats want, and what’s most likely to happen:
WHAT TRUMP WANTS
President Trump and his supporters will, no doubt, want the persistent Russia story to go away. AG Sessions told NBC News on Thursday morning that the story is “unbelievable to me and [is] false.”
President Trump has yet to respond himself, but three days ago tweeted this about Russia stories:
Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media, in order to mask the big election defeat and the illegal leaks!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2017
What remains to be seen is if these allegations dog Sessions like they did Paul Manafort (last year) and Mike Flynn (this year), or if they fall by the wayside.
WHAT DEMS WANT
It should come as no surprise that Democrats want the most drastic actions taken in response to this story.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for Sessions’ resignation, saying: “Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign.”
The liberal Huffington Post published a video on Thursday morning of a then-Sen. Sessions talking about the seriousness of perjury in 1999. It would come as little surprise if a (few) Democrat(s) call for Sessions’ impeachment.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
As with much reality in Washington, the answer of what will really happen lies somewhere in between the spectrum of “fake news” to “impeachment.”
One thing that will likely happen: Sessions will recuse himself from any DOJ investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. Session referenced such a possibility on Thursday, and even Republican senators like Lindsey Graham called for such a recusal.
Another thing that will likely happen: this episode will be pursued in existing investigations into Russia’s involvement in the election. This includes an FBI investigation, as well as separate inquiries by the House and Senate intelligence committees.
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