After American Oversight Lawsuit, DOJ Confirms that Sessions Lied about Russian Contacts

DOJ Was Ordered to Appear in Court on June 12 to Defend Case Seeking Sessions’s SF-86

Washington, DC — Hours after a federal judge ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to appear in court to defend against American Oversight’s lawsuit seeking the release of Attorney General Sessions’s security clearance application form, the DOJ confirmed that Sessions had lied to federal investigators about his contacts with Russian officials.

“The SF-86 form requires the signer to acknowledge that making a false statement on the form or withholding information is a felony,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “Given that Mr. Sessions appears to have deliberately failed to include his contacts with Russia, Special Counsel Robert Mueller should investigate whether Mr. Sessions committed the crime of making false statements. Mr. Sessions recently instructed prosecutors to file the most serious charges available and seek the toughest penalties. Mr. Mueller should take him at his word.”

American Oversight filed a lawsuit on April 19, 2017 seeking the release of the portion of Sessions’s SF-86 background investigation form on which he was required to disclose foreign contacts.

The DOJ submitted its initial response to American Oversight’s lawsuit on May 25, and a hearing date was set for June 12, 2017. Hours later, CNN broke the news that DOJ confirmed that Sessions had failed to disclose his contacts with Russian officials on his SF-86 form. Sessions had previously lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the same issue during his confirmation hearing to serve as Attorney General.

American Oversight submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Sessions’s background investigation form on March 20, 2017 as part of a broader investigation into the Trump administration and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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