Cummings says Sessions should step down over conversations with Russian ambassador

Cummings says Sessions should step down over conversations with Russian ambassador
© Moriah Ratner

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, called on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe book: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it 'only hired Irishmen' Senate confirms Trump pick William Barr as new attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s final insult to Congress: Farewell time for reporters but not testimony MORE to immediately resign following reports that he spoke to the Russian ambassador to the United States during President Trump's campaign.

“When Senator Sessions testified under oath that ‘I did not have communications with the Russians,’ his statement was demonstrably false, yet he let it stand for weeks — and he continued to let it stand even as he watched the President tell the entire nation he didn’t know anything about anyone advising his campaign talking to the Russians," Cummings said in a statement.

“Attorney General Sessions should resign immediately, and there is no longer any question that we need a truly independent commission to investigate this issue.” 

The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that Sessions spoke once privately with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He also spoke with Kislyak and other ambassadors during an event in July.

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A spokeswoman for Sessions told the newspaper that the then-senator was acting as an Armed Services Committee member rather than a Trump surrogate at the time and that he did not remember their conversation well and didn't find it pertinent to questions from lawmakers during his confirmation. 

Sessions was the first senator to endorse Trump's presidential campaign, to which he later became an adviser.

House Minority Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) echoed Cummings's statement and demanded Sessions's resignation.

"Now, after lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign. Sessions is not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign," she said in a statement.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: New York says goodbye to Amazon's HQ2 | AOC reacts: 'Anything is possible' | FTC pushes for record Facebook fine | Cyber threats to utilities on the rise Schiff calls out Facebook, Google over anti-vaccination information Rule change sharpens Dem investigations into Trump MORE (D-Calif.) ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, also said Sessions should recuse himself from any investigation into Trump aides’ ties to Russia. 

“If reports are accurate,” he wrote in a statement, “it is essential that he recuse himself from any role in the investigation of Trump campaign ties to the Russians. This is not even a close call: it is a must.”