News & Publications

March 2, 2017

Sessions May Have Committed Perjury on Muslim Ban As Well

Contact: Ryan Costello
Phone: 202-386-6319
Washington, DC – NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement:

“NIAC Action is concerned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have misled the Senate Judiciary Committee in his confirmation hearing with regard to his role in planning and drafting President Trump’s executive order banning individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. With new questions being raised regarding whether the Attorney General perjured himself in testimony before the U.S. Congress over contacts with the Russian ambassador, it is appropriate to revisit the record regarding his testimony that he played no role in drafting or planning the so-called “Muslim ban”, in addition to other immigration-related Executive Orders. 

“In questions for the record, Sen. Feinstein asked of Sessions ‘Did you read, review, provide legal analysis, or provide any other comments regarding the following executive orders before they were issued?’ – listing the Muslim ban order. Sessions replied with a one word answer of ‘No.’ Sessions indicated he ‘had no such communications’ with Stephen Miller, who is a top aide to Trump and previously served as an aide to Sessions, or with Stephen Bannon regarding the immigration orders. In response to Feinstein’s question ‘Did you participate in creating documents that resembled or served as the basis for the executive orders?’ Sessions answered ‘No.’
“However, reports indicate that Sessions was in fact involved in the drafting of the Executive Orders and in communication with the White House about their rollout. According to a report prior to the issuance of the Executive Orders, ‘Senior Trump advisers such as chief strategist Stephen Bannon and attorney general designate Jeff Sessions were deeply involved in the extended debate over the orders, said several people familiar with the discussions.’ In part due to reports over Session’s ties to the administration, the ACLU urged the Judiciary Committee to hold a second hearing to investigate Sessions’ role in the Executive Orders. Further, according to The Washington Post, Sessions ‘lobbied for a “shock-and-awe” period of executive action that would rattle Congress, impress Trump’s base and catch his critics unaware, according to two officials involved in the transition planning.
“Given the strong indications that Sessions did not truthfully disclose his contacts with Russia in sworn testimony before Congress, it is vital to examine other areas of his testimony and in particular his involvement in the Trump administration’s executive actions on immigration. If he is willing to lie or mislead on contacts with Russia, it stands to reason that we cannot take him at his word regarding his involvement in the Executive Orders on immigration.



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