Former Sen. Al Franken resurfaced Friday to lash out at Jeff Sessions, his sparring partner for much of the Trump administration’s first year, over the attorney general’s decision to fire a longtime FBI official over a “lack of candor.”
Franken has accused Sessions of misleading the Senate Judiciary Committee in sworn testimony. And the departed Minnesota senator called the dismissal of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe “hypocrisy at its worst.”
Sessions fired former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe late last week, hours before McCabe was to retire from the bureau with full benefits. In a statement, Sessions said that McCabe had been found by an internal watchdog to have leaked information to the media without authorization and that he “lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
Opponents of the Trump administration have accused Sessions of carrying out political retribution on behalf of the president, who had excoriated McCabe repeatedly on Twitter.
"That the attorney general would fire the man who was tasked with investigating him raises serious questions about whether retaliation or retribution motivated his decision. It also raises serious questions about his supposed recusal from all matters stemming from the 2016 campaign,” wrote Franken, who resigned earlier this year amid allegations that he touched multiple women inappropriately. “But the fact that Attorney General Sessions would claim that a ‘lack of candor’ justified Mr. McCabe’s termination is hypocrisy at its worst.”
The former Minnesota senator recalled that Sessions, who has recused himself from all Department of Justice investigations related to the 2016 election, only did so in the wake of media reports detailing his multiple meetings with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak during the campaign. Sessions had testified, under questioning from Franken, during his confirmation hearing that he “did not have communications with the Russians” during the campaign.
That Sessions would fire McCabe for a lack of candor, Franken wrote on Facebook, was “ironic, because, as you may recall, Jeff Sessions has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of candor — under oath — about his own interactions with Russians.”