Jeff Sessions sits squarely at the intersection of Donald Trump’s campaign, his administration, his contact with Russia, and his potential obstruction of justice. Sessions was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Trump’s campaign, Sessions was caught lying about his secret meetings with the Russian ambassador, and upon being named a chair of the Trump campaign’s national security advisory team, Sessions completely abandoned his hardline stance toward Russia, in favor of cozying up to the nation that months later would attack our election.
“In the Trump-Russia investigation all roads lead back to Jeff Sessions,” said American Bridge Rapid Response Director Emily Aden. “He needs to answer for lying under oath about his repeated contacts with Russian officials during the Trump campaign, and explain any role he may have had — despite his recusal — in abetting Trump’s firing of the FBI Director, as well as Trump’s attempts to obstruct the FBI’s Mike Flynn investigation.”
Here is a timeline that dissects Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ involvement in the Russia scandal every step of the way:
March 26, 2015: Jeff Sessions had been calling Russia an untrustworthy adversary for nearly two decades, in Brussels he said: “[T]here’s a danger that [Putin’s Russia] continue this overreach” by trying to dominate other Eastern European nations and “It needs to be clear that Russia knows that there will be a high price to pay if this behavior continues.”
June 16, 2015: Trump announced bid for president
February 29, 2016: Jeff Sessions became the first sitting US senator to endorse Trump.
March 3, 2016: Jeff Sessions was announced as chair of the Trump campaign’s national security advisory team.
March 21, 2016: Trump named Carter Page as a foreign policy adviser. Page served on Sessions’ national security advisory committee.
March 17, 2016: Jeff Sessions shifts his stance to adopt Trump’s pro-Russia language: “I think his emphasis on a more realistic, pragmatic foreign policy is good. I think an argument can be made there is no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at this loggerheads.”
April 27, 2016: Jeff Sessions and the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak attended Trump’s foreign policy speech at the Mayflower hotel and may have had an undisclosed private meeting.
July 2016: FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor communications from Carter Page.
July 8, 2016: Carter Page gave lecture in Moscow. The trip was approved by former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. According to the Christopher Steele dossier Page also met with Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin.
July 18-21, 2016: During the GOP convention Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak secretly met with Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, JD Gordon, and Walid Phares. Trump aides including Gordon removed a pro-Ukraine amendment from GOP platform.
September 8, 2016: Jeff Sessions met with Ambassador Kislyak in a previously undisclosed meeting in his Senate office.
November 8, 2016: Trump won the election.
November 18, 2016: Trump announced Jeff Sessions as his pick for Attorney General.
January 10: Jeff Sessions testified in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee and lied that did not have communications with the Russians during the campaign.
February 8, 2017: Jeff Sessions confirmed as Attorney General.
February 9, 2017: Jeff Sessions sworn-in as Attorney General.
February 14, 2017: FBI Director James Comey and the FBI senior leadership team reached the conclusion that Jeff Sessions “was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself” from the Russia investigation for “a variety of reasons.”
February 14, 2017: FBI Director James Comey testified that he asked Jeff Sessions to never leave him alone with President Trump again.
March 2, 2017: Jeff Sessions announced he would recuse himself from DOJ Russian investigation.
May 10, 2017: Despite recusal, Jeff Sessions interviewed candidates for interim FBI Director.
May 15, 2017: Despite recusal, Jeff Sessions interviewed eight candidates for FBI Director.
June 7, 2017: Despite recusal, Jeff Sessions praised President Trump’s pick Christopher Wray for FBI Director.
June 7, 2017: Reported that Jeff Sessions offered to resign in recent weeks over frustration Trump had with him in part for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.
June 10, 2017: Jeff Sessions cancelled scheduled open appearances before the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees and said he would appear before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee instead.
Published: Jun 12, 2017