The witch hunt against President Donald Trump and his administration continues in the mainstream media. Last night, The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to the Russian ambassador twice during the campaign, which he did not mention during his confirmation hearing.

Thing is, the article disproves the newspaper’s thesis. Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT) asked Sessions if he had been in contact with any Russian government officials about the 2016 election. Sessions said no.

Here is the headline:

Talk about click bait. Like I said, the article completely disproves the headline. But publications know that most people will not read past the headline. If they do, they may not make it very far, so go ahead and bury the lede.

Which is exactly what The Washington Post did four paragraphs down.

Read the question again:

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) specifically asked if Sessions spoke to any Russian officials ABOUT THE 2016 ELECTION. He did not ask if Sessions spoke to Russian officials and left it at that. The Post even admitted as such IN THE ARTICLE:

 

Let me repeat myself: Leahy and Franken specifically asked about Russian communications with members of Trump’s campaign team, not as a senator.

If Franken and Leahy simply asked Sessions, “Did you have any communications with Russian officials?” then they would have a case. But the questions were specifically about Trump’s campaign team.

Sessions released his statement last night:

Justice officials stated that Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak “in his capacity as a member of the armed services panel rather than in his role as a Trump campaign surrogate.” Flores reminds the Post that the questions towards Sessions addressed of only Russia.

Flores also mentioned that Sessions met with over 25 ambassadors in 2016: British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian and German.

Sessions denied he spoke with Kislyak about the election, but it is troubling that he cannot recall what the two spoke about in the meeting.

But of course the Democrats have gone crazy, claiming Sessions perjured himself and that he should resign. Ironically, these are the same people who confirmed Eric Holder and turned a blind eye on Operation Fast and Furious. But did he perjure himself? No:

Sessions, as a Senator on the Armed Services Committee, met with over 20 ambassadors in 2016. One of them was the Russian ambassador. There is no evidence, at all, Sessions met with the ambassador to review Trump campaign strategy, or anything of the sort. The suggestion that our Senators should not be meeting with representatives of foreign governments is ludicrous, especially coming from people who championed the Clinton Foundation meeting with foreign governments frequently to fund their Clinton Foundation and personal enrichment.

The criminal law only prohibits lying to Congress under two statutes — 18 USC 1621 ands 18 USC 1001. Section 1621 requires a person “willfully and contrary” to a sworn oath “subscribe a material matter” which is both false and the person knows to be false. Section 1001 is basically the same, without certain tribunal prerequisites: it also requires the government prove a person willfully made a materially false statement. This requires three elements: first, a false statement; second, the false statement be “material”; and third, the false statement be made “knowingly” and “willfully.” A statement is not false if it can be interpreted in an innocent manner. A statement is not material if it is not particularly relevant to the subject of the inquiry. Willfully is a very high standard of proof: it requires the person know they are committing the crime, and do so anyway. None of the three exist as to Sessions.

The White House has backed Sessions against the smear. In its morning communications briefing, the White House provided some more facts against the Democrats and media’s claims:

Sessions spoke to the Russian ambassador TWICE in 2016, which makes the Post and Democrats think that’s enough evidence that he perjured himself and he should resign. Others on the Senate Armed Forces Committee stated that they never met with the Russian ambassador last year. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) even said she has NEVER met with a Russian ambassador. Oh, Kemberlee reports otherwise:

Fellow Republicans, though, have now called for Sessions to recuse himself and appoint a special prosecutor if the Department of Justice starts an investigation into possible Russian interference with our presidential election:

Republicans like former Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are calling on Sessions to step aside so an independent review of Russian meddling into the election can take place with the full confidence of the American people.

“We need an independent review by a credible third party and that Attorney General Sessions should recuse himself from any investigation into Russia,” Issa said. “We need a clear-eyed view of what the Russians actually did so that all Americans can have faith in our institutions.”

Several House Republicans from swing districts, including Reps. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Ryan Costello (R-Pa.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), who is on the House Intelligence Committee, also joined the calls for Sessions to recuse himself.

Sessions spoke with NBC News about this fiasco and said he will recuse himself if he has to:

“I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”