Information Learned at CBC Panel Supports Need for Independent Russia Investigation, Calls for Sessions to Resign

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Washington, DC, March 2, 2017 | comments

A few hours before news about Attorney General Jeff Sessions broke, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) hosted a panel examining the potential constitutional and ethical violations committed by the Trump Administration and their impact on the safety and security of the nation and the American public’s trust in democratic institutions. Information learned from the panel about the Trump Administration’s connections to Russia and the recent reports of Attorney General Sessions making misleading statements under oath support the need for an independent investigation and for Attorney General Sessions to resign.

Chairman Richmond said, “For months, we have read rumors and reports about ties between then candidate Trump’s associates and Russian officials. Now, we have evidence that two of those associates – former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Attorney General Sessions – have mischaracterized their relationship with these officials. Under oath, Attorney General Sessions told the Senate, ‘I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.’ His statement was a lie.”

“The American people deserve to know the truth about the potential connections and collusion between this Administration and Russia,” Chairman Richmond said. “That is why the Congressional Black Caucus held this panel, and why I think an independent investigation is needed and Attorney General Sessions needs to resign.”

Panelists included Malcolm Nance, a combat veteran, commentator, and former naval intelligence collector, Richard Painter, University of Minnesota law professor and former chief ethics counsel under George W. Bush, and Susan Hennessey, a national security fellow at the Brookings Institute and former attorney at the National Security Agency. Prepared statements from Nance and Hennessey are below and links to the video are here (Part 1) and here (Part 2). Key timestamps for the videos are below and all of them are approximate. 

The CBC was established in 1971 and has historically been considered the “Conscience of the Congress” for its willingness to stand up and speak out about issues that Congress needs to examine or reexamine. The panel was part of the CBC’s effort to exercise this role.

Statements 

Nance Statement, CBC Panel

Hennessey Statement, CBC Panel

Video 1

Subject CBC Member/Panelist Timestamp (In Minutes)

Introduction

Chairman Richmond

Beginning

Statements

Hennessey, Nance, Painter

7, 12, 19

Role of Russia/Type of Investigation/Ethics Violations

Rep. Bennie Thompson 

23

Massive Large Scale Cyber Warfare Campaign/WikiLeaks

Nance

27

Trump Associates and Russia/H. Con. Res. 15/“Kremlin Clan”

Rep. Maxine Waters

30

Role of Media and Public Servants/Protecting the People

Rep. Marcia Fudge

36

FBI Not Aggressively Contacting DNC

Rep. Karen Bass

38

Russia/White Supremacy

Rep. Karen Bass

42

White House/Nepotism

Rep. Keith Ellison

52

Trump Business Interests

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

55

Constitutional Definitions

Rep. Barbara Lee

1:02

President’s Personal Cell

Rep. Hank Johnson

1:06

Video 2

Subject CBC Member/Panelist Timestamp (In Minutes)

Michael Flynn/Impeachable Offenses

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee

1

Potential of a House Investigation

Rep. Bennie Thompson

9

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Media Contact: Kamara Jones, Kamara.Jones@mail.house.gov

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