Senator Al Franken appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell tonight, just hours after a new report about Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Franken was able to coyly confirm that the latest Sessions news is true, because as it turns out, Franken was the one who first put it in motion.
Earlier today, CNN reported that Jeff Sessions may have circled back and had a private meeting with the Russian Ambassador at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016 after having first met with him during a reception earlier that day (link). Al Franken then appeared on MSNBC and revealed on-air that he had previously sent a letter to the FBI asking them to investigate this same matter.
Franken spoke in carefully chosen generic terms, seemingly in order to avoid compromising the investigation. But the inference was clear: although Sessions claimed that he didn’t remember meeting Kislyak at the reception, he couldn’t possibly claim to not remember having a one-on-one meeting with him. Moreover, Franken revealed that he recently heard from the FBI that there would be a break coming in the Sessions-Kislyak investigation.
In other words, Al Franken just revealed that the FBI has Jeff Sessions nailed in the Russia scandal. With prosecutorial authority now in the hands of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI will ostensibly turn that evidence over to Mueller for potential prosecution. The timetable for that is still not known to the public. But based on today’s revelations, it’s clear that things are proceeding against Sessions, and that he no longer has the benefit of the “I forgot” defense.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report