WashPost OPINION: Bipartisan Duo Of Prosecutors Sets Forth Case Against Sessions — Cites Kleindienst Example — Meanwhile, See Kate McKinnon As Jeff Sessions On SNL!


Philip Lacovara and Lawrence Robbins write in the Washington Post:

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a seemingly false statement under oath during his confirmation hearing. Admittedly, not every potential perjury case gets prosecuted, and Sessions may well have defenses to such a charge. But as lawyers at the Justice Department and attorneys in private practice who have represented individuals accused in such cases, we can state with assurance: Federal prosecutors have brought charges in cases involving far more trivial misstatements and situations far less consequential than whether a nominee to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer misled fellow senators during his confirmation hearings.

. . . .

Certainly there is precedent for a prosecution in this context. Part of the fallout from Watergate included the special prosecutor’s investigation of Richard Kleindienst, who had resigned from his position as attorney general, for alleged false statements during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kleindienst was asked whether the White House had interfered with a Justice Department antitrust action against the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. He stated, “I was not interfered with by anybody at the White House” — but President Nixon and one of his top aides had each called Kleindienst regarding the case. Kleindienst pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for “refus[ing] and fail[ing] to answer accurately and fully” questions at a congressional hearing.

Those facts left no room for any colorable defense on the “knowledge” issue. But when Justice Department officials decide whether to bring a case against Sessions — or, more appropriately, when an independent counsel is appointed and resolves that question — this must be done against the backdrop of other perjury cases that the department has chosen over the years to bring. And the department has prosecuted individuals who advanced defenses very similar to Sessions’s arguments here, often where there was far less at stake.”


Read the full piece at the link:

And, Here’s Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions on SNL from Saturday, March 4: