ABC, NBC Push Democratic Accusations that Jeff Sessions Committed Perjury

It appeared that two of the Big Three networks smelled blood in the water Thursday evening as both ABC and NBC lent their aid to Congressional Democrats in their push to oust Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Many lawmakers on both sides have been calling for Jeff sessions to recuse himself when the news of these meetings broke,” hyped ABC anchor David Muir during World News Tonight, “But tonight, Democratic leaders are going even further saying he should step down.” All because Democrats accuse Sessions of lying to the Senate about meetings with the Russian Ambassador.

Late Thursday afternoon, Sessions had recused himself from having any hand in the ongoing FBI investigation looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. “For Democrats, the attorney general's announcement is not enough,” announced ABC reporter Mary Bruce, “Even before he took the podium, Democrats were calling for Jeff Sessions to step down.” She followed up with clips of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer attacking Sessions.

She exaggerated the Republican response by stating, “Even members of his own party breaking rank, a growing number of Republicans urging Sessions to back away from the investigation.” But she didn’t mention that during Sessions’ press conference he admitted that he and his staff had been talking about recusal for the last few days.

Bruce then read a hyperbolic tweet from a former George W. Bush lawyer which said, “Misleading the senate in sworn testimony about one's own contacts with the Russians is a good way to go to jail.” The banter between Muir and Bruce seemed to suggest they were getting enjoyment from Sessions plight:

MUIR: Democrats are saying they’re not going to give up this fight, they’re going to try to pressure Sessions to resign, even calling for a criminal investigation tonight?

BRUCE: Yeah David, Democrats say this is now a question of perjury, and a group of House Democrats have sent a letter to the FBI director demanding an immediate criminal investigation. Some Democrats even want to see if Sessions will come back here to the hill to testify again.

It was similar on NBC Nightly News were speculation flourished as reporter Peter Alexander pulled out all the stops. He too seemed impressed the efforts of Democrats as he touted one far left Senator’s muddying the waters, “Senator Dianne Feinstein cast doubt on Sessions claim he didn't remember much about the meeting. Most recently seen here in the president's address to Congress Tuesday night.

In the clip NBC News used, Feinstein, tried to argue that it was “unbelievable” that Sessions could possibly forget that he had met with the Russian ambassador. But what the NBC reporter failed to mention was that Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who had chastised the Attorney General for the same thing, forgot that she too had met the Russian ambassador not once but twice.

Alexander tried to use Sessions’ own word against him, in the form of his criticisms of former President Bill Clinton’s own use of perjury. “And in America, and Supreme Court and the American people believe no one is above the law,” Sessions said in 1999. The insinuation by Alexander is that Sessions committed perjury in lying to the Senate. But that may not be the case according to Alexander’s colleague, legal correspondent Pete Williams.

Williams’ report air before Alexanders where he explained that “Sessions insists he did not mislead the Senate because he understood the question to be about contacts regarding the campaign but now wishes he had answered differently.” He also sat down with a legal expert who dismissed the assertion that Sessions could be charged. “I don't believe it would appropriate to prosecute him for perjury under these circumstances, but he absolutely could have been more candid,” they said.

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Despite fanning the flames for the Democrats a little bit, the reporting on CBS Evening News came down the hardest against the left’s accusations of perjury. Attorney and CBS chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford made a fist and shook her head firmly while declaring:

I see no way Attorney General Sessions would be prosecuted for his testimony. I mean, to be convicted of lying to Congress, you have to give testimony that you know is false, and Sessions said this afternoon he was thinking the question related to whether he had contacts in connection with his role as a campaign surrogate, not as a U.S. Senator. So, in that context, and when you look at the actual questions, his statements would not be considered false under the law.

The liberal media’s hyperventilation over the issue exposes just how much they want to claim the scalp of the Attorney General, especially after their hyperbolic insinuations that he was, and still is, a Klansman before his confirmation. There were no such calls for Eric Holder to resign when he lied under oath. Just like there were no calls for Loretta Lynch to resign when she had her clandestine meeting with Bill Clinton on an airport runway. Besides, any such call would be met with accusations of bigotry from the press in either case. 

Transcripts below: 

ABC
World News Tonight
March 2, 2017
6:38:35 PM Eastern

DAVID MUIR: And there was swift reaction on Capitol Hill. Many lawmakers on both sides have been calling for Jeff sessions to recuse himself when the news of these meetings broke. But tonight, Democratic leaders are going even further saying he should step down. ABC's Mary Bruce is on Capitol Hill again tonight.

[Cuts to video]

MARY BRUCE: For Democrats the attorney general's announcement is not enough. Even before he took the podium, Democrats were calling for Jeff Sessions to step down.

NANCY PELOSI: The fact that the attorney general, the top cop in our country, lied under oath to the American people is grounds for him to resign.

CHUCK SCHUMER: There cannot be even the scintilla of doubt about the impartiality and fairness of the attorney general.

BRUCE: On Capitol Hill today, the chorus was too loud for the attorney general to ignore. Why do you feel he should recuse himself?

SUSAN COLLINS: I feel that Jeff sessions should recuse himself in order to promote public confidence in the investigation. And that, to, me, would be the best approach.

BRUCE: Even members of his own party breaking rank, a growing number of Republicans urging Sessions to back away from the investigation.

...

BRUCE: The stakes made clear in this blunt tweet from President George W. Bush's top ethics lawyer, saying, “Misleading the senate in sworn testimony about one's own contacts with the Russians is a good way to go to jail.”

[Cuts back to live]

MUIR: Mary Bruce talking with Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill today. But Mary, Democrats are saying they’re not going to give up this fight, they’re going to try to pressure Sessions to resign, even calling for a criminal investigation tonight?

BRUCE: Yeah David, Democrats say this is now a question of perjury, and a group of House Democrats have sent a letter to the FBI director demanding an immediate criminal investigation. Some Democrats even want to see if Sessions will come back here to the hill to testify again.

NBC Nightly News
March 2, 2017
7:03:16 PM Eastern

PETE WILLIAMS: Sessions insists he did not mislead the Senate because he understood the question to be about contacts regarding the campaign but now wishes he had answered differently.

JEFF SESSIONS: Retrospect, I should have slowed down and said “But I did meet one Russian official a couple of times. That would be the ambassador.”

WILLIAMS: Some legal experts say he may not have committed perjury but should have been more clear.

KATHLEEN CLARK: I don't believe it would appropriate to prosecute him for perjury under these circumstances, but he absolutely could have been more candid.

WILLIAMS: Today Sessions said he has no recollection of talking to Ambassador Kislyak about the campaign. Their conversation, he says, was about terrorism and Ukraine. With Sessions recused, the acting deputy attorney general, Dana Boente, a prosecutor from Virginia, originally appointed by President Obama takes over the Russian case. Pete Williams, NBC News at the Justice Department. 

PETER ALEXANDER: Top Democrats going a step further.

NANCY PELOSI: The fact the Attorney General, the top cop in our country, lied under oath to the American people is grounds for him to resign.

CHUCK SCHUMER: For the good of the country, Attorney General Sessions should resign.

ALEXANDER: Democrats also raising questions about the timing of Sessions September meeting with ambassador. Just three days after President Obama said sanctions on Russia shouldn't be rolled back. Senator Dianne Feinstein cast doubt on Sessions claim he didn't remember much about the meeting. Most recently seen here in the president's address to Congress Tuesday night.

DIANNE FEINSTEIN: This particular ambassador is hard to forget. So, to say that he couldn't remember is just simply not believable.

ALEXANDER: It was conversations with the same ambassador that ultimately led to the firing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn last month. While the White House is defending Sessions, his testimony under oath remains under scrutiny with critics pointing to this 1999 interview where then Senator Sessions called perjury claims against President Bill Clinton serious allegations.

SESSIONS: And in America, and Supreme Court and the American people believe no one is above the law.

...

CBS Evening News
March 2, 2017
6:37:47 PM Eastern

...

PELLEY: Attorney Jan Crawford is our chief legal correspondent. Jan, as you might expect, Democrats accused Sessions today of perjuring himself before congress. What is the law on that?

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, I mean Scott, that is a very high bar and I see no way Attorney General Session would be prosecuted for his testimony. I mean, to be convicted of lying to Congress, you have to give testimony that you know is false, and Sessions said this afternoon he was thinking the question related to whether he had contacts in connection with his role as a campaign surrogate, not as a U.S. Senator. So, in that context, and when you look at the actual questions, his statements would not be considered false under the law.

CyberAlerts Appointments Crime Foreign Policy Russia Government Agencies Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Covert Liberal Activists Double Standards Labeling Sudden Respect Political Scandals ABC World News CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Mary Bruce Jeff Sessions Justice Department David Muir Jan Crawford Pete Williams Peter Alexander Donald Trump