The US attorney general, the highest law officer in the land, has been accused of lying under oath.

Jeff Sessions is Donald Trump's first attorney general and head of the department of Justice.

His appointment was confirmed by the US Senate on 8 February by 52 to 47 votes.

Confirmation hearings are conducted under oath.

In the questioning preceding his confirmation, Sessions was asked by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota:

If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign what will you do?

Sessions responded:

Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities, I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I didn't not have not [sic] have communications with the Russians, um, and I'm unable to comment.

An official of Session's department has since claimed that he in fact had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States, prior to the American presidential election.

In February, similar undisclosed meetings between Russian officials and the President's men caused the downfall of Michael Flynn and his resignation as national security advisor.

The penalty for lying to Congress includes a fine and up to five years imprisonment for perjury, and also a fine and up to five years for providing 'false statements' to any branch of government.

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