Over one hundred fifty Democratic lawmakers have called for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. During his Senate hearing Sessions said under oath that he had not had any contacts with Russian officials during Donald Trump’s campaign and transition to the presidency.
That was a lie. Since taking office Sessions has admitted that he was in contact with Russia state officials not once, but twice during that period. Lying under oath is perjury, and serious violation of the law.
Sessions’s admission of hiding Russian contacts from the Senate raise further questions about Russian infiltration of Trump’s government. It suggests that he was trying to hide a conflict of interest that would have inhibited his confirmation. Most importantly, it shows that Sessions has no respect for the law and deliberately sought power over cases that he knew he was disqualified from overseeing, like the investigation into the Trump teams Russian ties.
Now 151 Democrats have demanded Sessions resignation. A bipartisan group of lawmakers has already extracted the concession that Sessions will recuse himself from investigations related to members of the Trump team and their alleged ties with the Russian state.
However, allowing Sessions to remain in office with the caveat of using a special prosecutor for cases specifically linked to his perjury is a gross injustice. It would undermine the rule of law in America – something that Sessions claims to respect. This logic leads even Sessions himself to agree that people who commit perjury should be removed from office (himself excepted, apparently).
America as a nation must not condone leaders who seize power without following the process enshrined in the Constitution and our legal system. To do so would be to sabotage the foundations of our democracy.