Multiple requests to see Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s security clearance application have been rebuffed, but on Thursday the Department of Justice let slip one part of a single page. And even that sliver of information is eye-opening.
Have you or any member of your immediate family in the past seven (7) years had any contact with a foreign government, its establishment (such as embassy, consulate, agency, military service, intelligence or security service, etc) or its representatives, whether inside or outside the U.S.? (Answer ‘No’ if the contact was for routine visa applications and border crossings related to either official U.S. Government travel or foreign travel on a U. S. passport).
Yes ( ) No (X)
Note that this form doesn’t say “ignore stuff you did while being a senator” and it certainly doesn’t say “having the Russian ambassador in your office for an extended private meeting doesn’t count.” Sessions has repeatedly tried to pass off instances in which he failed to note interaction with Russian officials as either minor or done under the auspices of being a senator rather than being part of Trump’s campaign team. But in this case, neither of those things provides any sort of excuse.
Jefferson Sessions met with 24 foreign ambassadors in 2016. And that’s just the ambassadors. How could the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, filling out his security form with any intent at truthfulness, answer “no” to this question? In May, Sessions said that “he didn’t need to list dozens of meetings.”
“In filling out the SF-86 form, the Attorney General’s staff consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities.”
But there’s a difference between not listing every incident over seven years and claiming there were none. Now … what’s on the other pages of Sessions’ applications and what’s behind all the parts that were redacted on the single page that was released?
From American Oversight, who obtained the partial, heavily redacted form …
“It’s one thing to know that the Attorney General lied on his security clearance form, but it’s another to see a potential felony in black and white. Mr. Sessions has advised federal prosecutors across the country to charge defendants with the most serious crimes, carrying the toughest penalties. Special Counsel Robert Mueller should take him at his word.