Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., suspects Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have lied about his communications with Russian officials under oath when testifying during the Senate confirmation process.
"I think that he did not answer truthfully under oath," Franken said during an interview on MSNBC on Friday.
He was responding to the question of whether Sessions is fit to run the Justice Department after the latest allegations that there may be a third undisclosed meeting last year between Sessions, then a senator, and Russian ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak. Former FBI Director Comey reportedly told senators about that meeting Thursday during the closed-session of his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Sessions had gotten into trouble in March when it was reported that he had two meetings with Kislyak during the campaign, which contradicted statements in his January confirmation hearing. He later recused himself from any investigations involving Russia.
Pressed by host Chuck Todd about whether Sessions should be removed from office, Franken explained that the Judiciary Committee chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, doesn't feel inclined to bring Sessions back in for testimony.
He also mentioned his and fellow Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy's' "private letter" to then-FBI Director Comey asking for an investigation into the "fact Sessions had met other times with Russians," including the third possible meeting on April 26, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
"Hopefully" an investigation will get to the bottom of that, said Franken.
Franken also noted that while Sessions may not have to testify again about his Russia contacts before the Judiciary panel, he may get some next week when he appears before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. Leahy is the senior Democrat on the full appropriations panel.