Former Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) broke his silence on Friday to reveal that he asked the FBI to investigate Attorney General Jeff Sessions for lying about his communication with Russians during the 2016 campaign, and suggested Sessions fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to hinder the probe.
Earlier this month, Sessions announced the firing of McCabe and accused him of making “an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.”
McCabe would soon fire back.
“This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally,” McCabe said in a statement. “It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.”
As it turns out, the FBI opened a perjury investigation against Sessions last year after he repeatedly lied to Congress about his contacts with Russian officials in 2016.
And that investigation happened because Franken requested it.
In his first message on social media since resigning from the Senate last year, Franken found it quite hypocritical that Sessions ousted McCabe for “lack of candor.”
“That’s one of the reasons that Attorney General Jeff Sessions used to justify his decision to fire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe last week, just two days before Mr. McCabe was set to retire from a distinguished 21-year career with the Bureau,” Franken began. “Ironic, because, as you may recall, Jeff Sessions has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of candor – under oath – about his own interactions with Russians.”
Franken then recapped how Sessions claimed that he had no knowledge of meeting with Russians in 2016, which was a complete lie. He then revealed why the FBI started investigating Sessions.
Fast forward to this week, when ABC News reported that nearly one year before Attorney General Sessions fired Andrew McCabe – allegedly for a “lack of candor” – Mr. McCabe oversaw an investigation into whether Attorney General Sessions himself lacked candor when he repeatedly misrepresented his contacts with Russians when testifying before Congress. That investigation was opened after my former colleague, Senator Pat Leahy, and I wrote to the FBI last year and requested that the Bureau examine the attorney general’s false statements.
So, Sessions fired the man who was in charge of the investigation against him. That sounds awfully like a conflict of interest and perhaps a violation of his recusal from the Russia investigation.
“That the attorney general would fire the man who was tasked with investigating him raises serious questions about whether retaliation or retribution motivated his decision,” Franken wrote. “It also raises serious questions about his supposed recusal from all matters stemming from the 2016 campaign. But the fact that Attorney General Sessions would claim that a “lack of candor” justified Mr. McCabe’s termination is hypocrisy at its worst.”
Here’s the full post via Facebook.
It looks like Sessions has some serious explaining to do.
Firing the number two guy in the FBI who just so happened to be the same guy who authorized an investigation against you is not a good look for Sessions.
Franken should be applauded for requesting the investigation and his statement demonstrates why we need him back in the Senate more than ever.
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