For the past week, the prevailing narrative has been whether or not Attorney General Jeff Sessions will get to keep his job. But based on the events of the past twenty-four hours in the Trump-Russia scandal, it turns out Sessions has something far worse to worry about, and that’s whether he’ll end up going to prison once he eventually does lose his job. It’s been a long time in coming, but the pieces to put Sessions in prison are finally falling into place – in surprisingly rapid succession.
First we had yesterday’s guilty plea and cooperating plea deal by Republican operative Samuel Patten, who committed a number of Trump-Russia related crimes. One of the things he confessed to: having lied under oath to a Senate committee while testifying about the Trump-Russia scandal. For the first time, we’re seeing someone going down for having committed perjury before Congress in this scandal, which sets a new precedent. But that was just the half of it.
We all recall Jeff Sessions having lied about his Russia meeting during his Senate confirmation hearings a year and a half ago. That was perjury, but the Republican-controlled Senate took no legal action against him after he recused himself from the Trump-Russia investigation. Last night George Papadopoulos made his court filing for his upcoming sentencing hearing, and in so doing, he revealed that Sessions also lied to the House Judiciary Committee last year.
So now within a span of just hours, we’ve seen Robert Mueller publicly establish that criminal charges are on the table for those who lie to Congress about the Trump-Russia scandal, and that Jeff Sessions lied to Congress a second time. Is this a coincidence? Patten cut his plea deal months ago, and Mueller is just now making it public. That may have something to do with the start of the second Paul Manafort trial this month. But Mueller just made fairly clear that he has Sessions nailed on multiple counts of perjury, and he intends to criminally pursue perjury. It’s time for Sessions to cut a plea deal against Trump, if he hasn’t already.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report