ABOVE THE LAW

DOJ Issues Mostly Blank Form Detailing Sessions’ Russia Contacts

The U.S. Department of Justice released one heavily redacted page of Jeff Sessions’ security-clearance form, hours after it defied a federal court’s ordered deadline to disclose the U.S. attorney general’s prior contacts with Russian government officials. The Wednesday deadline was ordered in response to an ethics watchdog organization’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for portions of Sessions’ SF86 form disclosing any contacts with Russian officials. A Justice spokesperson told NPR on Wednesday that the documents would be released by the deadline, but they were not. The form, dated as processed on Nov. 3, 2016, has a “no” box checked next to a question asking if Sessions or any of his family members had contact with foreign officials in the previous seven years. Sessions’ contacts with Russia have come under extensive scrutiny after it was revealed he had two conversations during the 2016 campaign with the country’s ambassador to the U.S.—a fact he did not disclose during his own confirmation hearing.