Center for American Progress Action

Everything You Need To Know About Russia, Trump, And The Attorney General

Everything You Need To Know About Russia, Trump, And The Attorney General

By Max Bergmann

1. Jeff Sessions lied to Congress about his contacts with Russian officials.

  • Sessions met twice with the Russian Ambassador during the campaign. But when asked about potential Trump campaign communications with the Russian government during his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General, Sessions said: “I’m not aware of any of those activities… I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

2. There were multiple meetings between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

  • Multiple European intelligence agencies (UK and Dutch) have evidence of meetings between known Trump campaign officials and known Russian officials in Europe. This information was shared with U.S. intelligence.
  • US intelligence also separately intercepted communications between Russian officials talking about their meetings with the Trump campaign.
  • The Russians that were in contact with the Trump campaign were notable enough to be tracked by US and European intelligence.

3. This information is accessible to Congress

  • Obama Administration officials took steps before leaving office to ensure that this intelligence could not be easily swept under the rug by an incoming Trump administration.
  • This information is therefore accessible to the intelligence committees conducting the investigations.

What This Means: Congress must stop everything and get to the bottom of what happened.

  • Jeff Sessions must resign.
  • As long as he’s in office, Sessions must recuse himself from these investigations as he should have done from the moment he was sworn in as an Attorney General.
  • Only an Independent counsel / special prosecutor can fully investigate possible crimes related to Russia’s attack on America’s democracy.
  • Republicans leading intelligence committee investigations — Rep. Nunes and Sen. Burr — were compromised when they followed Trump administration requests to downplay reports on Trump team contacts with Russia.
  • A bipartisan independent commission must be established to investigate what happened for the American people.

Max Bergmann is a Senior Fellow at American Progress Action Fund, where he focuses on European security and U.S.-Russia policy.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.