Until last night, the questions about whether Jeff Sessions could impartially lead an investigation into the Donald Trump-Russia scandal were largely a matter of impartiality. Could the new Attorney General, who was recently appointed to this position by Trump himself, be trusted to lead a fair and honest Department of Justice investigation into a man to whom he’s so clearly indebted? But as of last night, it’s an entirely different matter, because Sessions just became a material witness.
Here are the four Donald Trump campaign advisors who were outed by U.S. intel officials last night for having colluded with Russian intel officials during the course of the campaign: Michael Flynn, who just got fired over the Russia scandal. Paul Manafort, who was previously fired over the Russia scandal. Trump’s friend Roger Stone. And largely forgotten Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, whose last publicly known location was in Moscow in December. Guess who told Donald Trump to hire Carter Page in the first place?
That’s right, then-Senator Jeff Sessions and his office. No one seems to know where the hell Carter Page came from, or why anyone involved thought it was a good idea for the Donald Trump campaign to hire him. But what we do know is that Page found his way to the Trump campaign via Sessions. Back in September, when Politico was trying to figure out who Carter Page was and what he was doing on the Trump campaign staff, it reported the following: “The Page connection was Rick Dearborn, Sessions’ chief of staff, who hired Page because Dearborn knew nothing about foreign policy but needed to put together a foreign policy staff for Trump’s Alexandria, Virginia, policy shop and he happened to know Page.”
And if you’re wondering where Rick Dearborn went, he’s now Donald Trump’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff. Dearborn is yet another person who had direct connections to Trump’s election collusion scandal with Russia, and who has since been given a prominent job in the Trump administration. Coincidentally or not, Dearborn’s former boss Jeff Sessions has also been given a prominent job in the Trump administration.
Were Jeff Sessions and/or Rick Dearborn actually in on Trump’s Russian collusion scandal, or did they just have the bad luck to randomly recommend a guy to the Trump campaign who happened to be a Russian mole? For the moment, that part doesn’t matter. Because either way, Jeff Sessions is now a material witness in this scandal. He and/or his former chief of staff Dearborn have vital information on how and why Carter Page ended up working for Donald Trump.
And now that we have confirmation from the New York Times that Carter Page is suspected of having colluded with Russian intel officials while he was working for the Donald Trump campaign, Attorney General Jeff Sessions absolutely must recuse himself from any investigation. Because whether Sessions is guilty of anything or not, he is now a material witness to the Trump-Russia conspiracy that his Justice Department is tasked with investigating.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report