Controversy around Attorney General Jeff Sessions's denial at his confirmation hearing that he had contact with Russian officials, and the subsequent revelations that he had, in fact, met on more than one occasion with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign, led Sessions to recuse himself from investigations concerning Russia and the 2016 presidential campaigns. But that’s not enough for members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“The recusal is very narrow and only affects investigations looking into the Administration's ties with Russia before Election Day,” Progressive Caucus members said in a statement. "This is not enough. Sessions lied to Congress under oath.”
“Lying under oath about contacts with Russian officials supersedes recusal,” said Representative Mark Pocan, the caucus’s vice chair. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions must resign and the American people deserve an independent investigation.”
In a February 14 floor speech, Pocan called ties between the Russian government and Trump cabinet members “unnerving,” and called on the administration to make the intelligence report he and other members of Congress had seen, detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, available to the public. “Let the people decide. Declassify the report,” he said.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Members gathered with citizen activists outside of the Department of Justice on Friday to demand a resignation from Attorney General Sessions.
“We must be entirely clear on one thing: perjury is a felony and may be punishable by prison for up to five years,” Progressive Caucus co-chair Representative Keith Ellison said.
“Jeff Sessions is unfit to serve the American people, and he should resign immediately,” Represenative Raul Grijalva, also a Progressive Caucus co-chair, added. “Given the dark clouds surrounding this administration’s ties to Russia, and the aid Trump received from the Kremlin during the election, these lies are clear grounds for dismissal. Moreover, the Department of Justice must put in place a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration and the campaign’s connections to Russia.”
Watch the video of the rally outside the Justice Department here.