Donald Trump himself met Russian ambassador before election

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The federal government has launched multiple investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential contacts between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Photos from that day also appear to prove that Sergey Kislyak, the Kremlin's man in Washington, was at the Trump speech. As scrutiny has grown over Trump associates' ties to Russia, Trump has said on numerous occasions that he had no interactions with Russian officials during the campaign.

The idea that the president's choice to be US attorney general, the nation's top law enforcement official, would lie under oath to the Senate committee considering his nomination - people who were his colleagues as senators for 20 years - is stunning and possibly a sign of just how far down the standard of ethics in Washington has descended.

Thus, the fact that Mr. Sessions met with the Russians doesn't mean that much. In fact, according to a foreign policy aide to late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, it isn't unusual at all for USA legislators to meet with foreign ambassadors. Two of Sessions' senior staffers joined him. Lewandowski told Politico on Tuesday.

According to widespread news reports, Trump was furious that any momentum he gained from his speech to Congress was halted in its tracks by revelations about Attorney General Jeff Sessions' meetings with the Russian ambassador. Some in the United States intelligence committee believe that WikiLeaks is a front for the Kremlin. It was apparent that the Russian government wanted Trump to win and was trying to damage Clinton.

Thirty-four percent of independent voters said Sessions lied, while 23 percent said he was truthful. The Sessions news only intensified those calls.

Feehery added that Trump's penchant for issuing his thoughts on Twitter was also an issue of concern for congressional Republicans as they move ahead to try to implement his agenda.

Actually, often as not, it's historically the wrong way to deal with something like this. In a CNN town hall last week, Senator Lindsey Graham said that "if there is something there" in terms of criminal charges, "then for sure you need a special prosecutor". Pence's mouthpieces tried to advance an argument that there is a galaxy's worth of difference between using his poorly protected private email account and Hillary Clinton's private server - a defense that sent IT specialists around the globe collapsing in paroxysms of laughter.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) tweeted that she has been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for 10 years and has had "no call or meeting with the Russian Ambassador". While Trump fumes about leaks from the intelligence community and the entrenched federal bureaucracy, his closest aides are bending journalists' ears with self-serving narratives. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel, said recently. Meanwhile, House Oversight chairman Jason Chaffetz has repeatedly deferred to Nunes' committee to conduct any potential investigation, reinforcing the notion that Chaffetz isn't particularly interested in providing oversight of anyone with an (R) near their name. If the Republican leadership in Congress denies his request for an investigation, he suffers an embarrassing public rebuke. It's a club that, for now, is better left in the closet. An independent counsel is an option to deploy only when those responsible for discovering the truth show that they're unwilling to do so.