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115th Congress    }                                       {     Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                       {     115-74

======================================================================

 
   RESOLUTION OF INQUIRY REQUESTING THE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTING THE 
 ATTORNEY GENERAL TO TRANSMIT, RESPECTIVELY, CERTAIN DOCUMENTS TO THE 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RELATING TO COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE GOVERNMENT 
                               OF RUSSIA

                                _______
                                

   March 31, 2017.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                             ADVERSE REPORT

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 184]

                  [Including Committee Cost Estimate]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
resolution (H. Res. 184) of inquiry requesting the President 
and directing the Attorney General to transmit, respectively, 
certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to 
communications with the government of Russia, having considered 
the same, reports unfavorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommends that the resolution as amended not be agreed to.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     6
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     6
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     6
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     7
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     7
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     7
Dissenting Views.................................................     7

                             The Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

That the President is requested, and the Attorney General of the United 
States is directed, to transmit, respectively (in a manner appropriate 
to classified information, if the President or Attorney General 
determines appropriate), to the House of Representatives, not later 
than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies 
of any document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication 
in their possession, or any portion of any such communication, that 
refers or relates to the following:
          (1) Any meeting or communication that occurred between 
        Senator Jeff Sessions and any representative of the Russian 
        government, including his meetings with the Russian Ambassador 
        to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak, on July 18, 2016, and 
        September 8, 2016.
          (2) Senator Sessions' testimony before the Senate Committee 
        on the Judiciary on January 10, 2017, including but not limited 
        to his statement that he ``did not have communications with the 
        Russians''.
          (3) Senator Sessions' written response to Senator Patrick 
        Leahy's letter of January 17, 2017.
          (4) Attorney General Sessions' letter of March 6, 2017, to 
        the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
          (5) Senator Sessions' preparation for confirmation hearings 
        before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, with respect to 
        the subject of contact between President Trump's campaign and 
        any representative of the Russian government.
          (6) Attorney General Sessions' recusal from any investigation 
        related to the 2016 Presidential election, but not from other 
        related matters, and the implementation of that recusal.
          (7) The application of part 600 of title 28, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, to any case involving the 2016 Presidential 
        election or any related matter.
          (8) Any meeting that occurred between any employee of 
        President Trump's campaign or transition team and any 
        representative of the Russian government, including any meeting 
        that involved Donald J. Trump, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, 
        Carter Page, J.D. Gordon, Richard Burt, Paul Manafort, Roger 
        Stone, or Michael Cohen.

                          Purpose and Summary

    House Resolution 184 is a non-binding resolution of inquiry 
that requests that the Trump Administration provide the House 
of Representatives with certain documents related to 
communications with the government of Russia.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Resolutions of inquiry, if properly drafted, are given 
privileged parliamentary status in the House. This means that, 
under certain circumstances, a resolution of inquiry can be 
considered on the House floor even if the committee to which it 
was referred has not ordered the resolution reported and the 
majority party's leadership has not scheduled it for 
consideration. Clause 7 of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives requires the committee to which the 
resolution is referred to act on the resolution within 14 
legislative days, or a motion to discharge the committee from 
consideration is considered privileged on the floor of the 
House. In calculating the days available for committee 
consideration, the day of introduction and the day of discharge 
are not counted.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Wm. Holmes Brown, et al., House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, 
Precedents, and Procedures of the House ch. 49, Sec. 6, p. 834 (2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the Rules and precedents of the House, a resolution 
of inquiry is a means by which the House may request 
information from the President or the head of one of the 
executive departments. According to Deschler's Precedents, it 
is a ``simple resolution making a direct request or demand of 
the President or the head of an executive department to furnish 
the House of Representatives with specific factual information 
in the possession of the executive branch.''\2\ Such 
resolutions must ask for facts, documents, or specific 
information; they may not be used to request an opinion or 
require an investigation.\3\ Resolutions of inquiry are not 
akin to subpoenas, they have no legal force, and thus 
compliance by the Executive Branch with the House's request for 
information is purely voluntary.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\7 Deschler's Precedents of the United States House of 
Representatives, H. Doc. No. 94-661, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., ch. 24, 
Sec. 8.
    \3\A resolution that seeks more than factual information does not 
enjoy privileged status. Brown, supra note 1, at 833-34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to a study conducted by the Congressional 
Research Service (CRS), between 1947 and 2011, 290 resolutions 
of inquiry were introduced in the House.\4\ Within this period, 
CRS found that ``two periods in particular, 1971-1975 and 2003-
2006, saw the highest levels of activity on resolutions of 
inquiry'' and that the ``Committees on Armed Services, Foreign 
Affairs, and the Judiciary have received the largest share of 
references.''\5\ CRS further found that ``in recent Congresses, 
such resolutions have overwhelmingly become a tool of the 
minority party in the House.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Christopher M. Davis, Congressional Research Service, 
Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of Their Use in the House, 1947-
2011 at i (2012).
    \5\Id.
    \6\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A Committee has a number of choices after a resolution of 
inquiry is referred to it. It may vote on the resolution up or 
down as is or it may amend it, and it may report the resolution 
favorably, unfavorably, or with no recommendation. The fact 
that a committee reports a resolution of inquiry adversely does 
not necessarily mean that the committee opposes looking into 
the matter. In the past, resolutions of inquiry have frequently 
been reported adversely for several reasons. The two most 
common reasons are substantial compliance and competing 
investigations.
    House Resolution 184 essentially seeks two types of 
information from the Trump Administration. First, it requests 
documents regarding whether then-Senator Jeff Sessions misled 
the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding his contacts with 
Russian officials during the consideration of his confirmation 
to be Attorney General. Second, the resolution requests 
documents related to Russia's interference with the 2016 
Presidential election and alleged collusion with the Trump 
campaign.
    In regard to the request for documents related to the 
allegation that then-Senator Sessions misled the Senate 
Judiciary Committee, the resolution appears to be a waste of 
valuable time and resources of the Committee, the House, and, 
if acted upon by the House, the Trump Administration. The 
Senate Judiciary Committee has examined Sessions' testimony and 
responses to questions for the record and has determined that 
he has cleared up any confusion regarding his responses to 
questions regarding his contacts with Russia. After receiving a 
letter from Attorney General Sessions supplementing his Senate 
testimony,\7\ Chairman Grassley determined that Sessions took 
``quick action to clear up confusion about his statement'' and 
that the committee has no plans to ask Sessions to appear 
before the committee before its annual oversight hearing with 
the Justice Department.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Letter from the Hon. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the 
United States, to the Hon. Charles E. Grassley and Hon. Diane 
Feinstein, Senate Committee on the Judiciary (Mar. 6, 2017).
    \8\Press Release, Senate Comm. on the Judiciary, Attorney General 
Clears Confusion on Hearing Testimony (Mar. 6, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moreover, a careful examination of the responses at issue 
makes clear that while some could allow themselves to be 
confused by Sessions' responses, they were not misleading. 
Senator Leahy asked Sessions whether he had been ``in contact 
with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government 
about the 2016 election.''\9\ Sessions responded that he had 
not.\10\ Senator Franken asked Sessions a question regarding 
his communications as a campaign ``surrogate.''\11\ Sessions 
responded that while he has been called a campaign surrogate, 
he did not have any communications with the Russians as a 
campaign surrogate.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General of the United 
States, Questions for the Record from Senator Leahy at 26 (Jan. 17, 
2017) (emphasis added).
    \10\Id.
    \11\Sessions, supra note 7.
    \12\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In other words, Sessions was asked specifically about 
contacts with Russia regarding, or on behalf of, the Trump 
campaign. He was not asked about general contacts he may have 
had with Russia outside of the context of the Trump campaign, 
such as contacts he may have had as part of his role as a U.S. 
Senator. Accordingly, the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded 
that there does not appear to be anything misleading about his 
answers.
    As to the resolution's request for information regarding 
alleged ties between the Trump campaign and transition team and 
the Russian government, there are multiple investigations into 
these matters that are ongoing and it would be inappropriate 
for this Committee or the House to seek documents related to 
those investigations through a resolution of inquiry at this 
time. Both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are 
conducting investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 
election and the alleged ties between the Trump campaign and 
Russian officials. Moreover, in testimony before the House 
Intelligence Committee, the Director of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, James Comey, confirmed that the FBI ``is 
investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in 
the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating 
the nature of any links between individuals associated with the 
Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was 
any coordination between the campaign and Russia's 
efforts.''\13\ The Judiciary Committee strongly believes that 
these ongoing investigations by the Legislative and Executive 
Branches should be allowed to proceed, as warranted, without 
outside interference.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Hearing on Russian Active Measures Investigation Before H. 
Permanent Select Comm. on Intelligence, 115th Cong. (2017) (statement 
of James Comey, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Given the fact that two congressional committees and our 
nation's chief law enforcement agency are investigating this 
matter, there is no reason for the House to request this 
information through a resolution of inquiry. The Judiciary 
Committee and the House have more important business to attend 
to than needlessly requesting information that is already 
available to those actually investigating this matter. The 
Judiciary Committee will investigate any credible allegations 
of misconduct by members of the Executive Branch to the extent 
such allegations fall within this Committee's jurisdiction. 
However, the Committee will not do so through politically-
charged resolutions of inquiry that could jeopardize the 
integrity of ongoing investigations.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H. Res. 
184.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 29, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered House Resolution 184 unfavorably reported, with an 
amendment, by a roll call vote of 15 to 11, a quorum being 
present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following roll call votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H. Res. 184.
    1. Motion to report H. Res. 184 unfavorably to the House. 
Approved 15 to 11.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Smith (TX).................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. King (IA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Chaffetz (UT)..............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Marino (PA)................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Farenthold (TX)............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Buck (CO)..................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Ratcliffe (TX).............................      X   ......  .......
Ms. Roby (AL)..................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Gaetz (FL).................................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Johnson (LA)...............................      X   ......  .......
Mr. Biggs (AZ).................................      X   ......  .......
 
Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........  ......      X   .......
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................  ......  ......  .......
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................  ......  ......  .......
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................  ......  ......  .......
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Swalwell (CA)..............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Lieu (CA)..................................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Raskin (MD)................................  ......      X   .......
Ms. Jayapal (WA)...............................  ......      X   .......
Mr. Schneider (IL).............................  ......      X   .......
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     15      11   .......
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this resolution does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that 
implementing this non-binding resolution would not result in 
any significant costs. The Congressional Budget Office did not 
provide a cost estimate for the resolution.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H. Res. 184 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that H. Res. 184 specifically 
directs to be completed no specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 
184 requests certain documents from the Trump administration 
related to communications with the government of Russia.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H. Res. 184 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the resolution as 
reported by the Committee.
    H. Res. 184, a non-binding resolution of inquiry, requests 
that the President and the Attorney General of the United 
States transmit certain documents and communications to the 
House of Representatives related to communications with the 
government of Russia.

                            Dissenting Views

    At his confirmation hearing, then-Senator Jefferson 
Beauregard Sessions III testified explicitly that he had not 
met with Russian officials in the past year. In a written 
response to questions for the record, he reiterated his denial. 
When the Washington Post reported otherwise, Attorney General 
Sessions admitted to having met with the Russian ambassador on 
two occasions but failed to mention a third meeting, clearly 
documented in the public record.\1\ He has since recused 
himself from any pending investigation related to the 
presidential campaign. A number of critical questions remain. 
Why did the Attorney General give false and misleading 
testimony? Why is his explanation for that testimony 
incomplete? Is his recusal sufficient to address his ongoing 
relationship with President Trump? Why have so many individuals 
in President Trump's immediate orbit made contact with the 
Russian government? Why have so many of them initially denied 
it?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Adam Entous et al., Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last 
year, encounters he later did not disclose, Wash. Post, Mar. 1, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H. Res. 184 directs the White House and the Department of 
Justice to transmit information related to the Attorney 
General's testimony, the precise scope of his recusal, and 
contacts between Trump campaign officials and the Russian 
government. The Resolution is designed to help our Committee 
answer those questions. As Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the 
sponsor of this Resolution, explained, the ``House is a 
separate but coequal branch of government. We do not work for 
the Trump administration; we work for the American people. And 
the American people deserve to know if the Trump team colluded 
with Putin's Russia. That includes Jeff Sessions.''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Unofficial Tr. of Markup of H.R. 1667; H.R. 1695; H. Res. 184; 
and H. Res. 203 before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 115th Cong. (Mar. 
29, 2017) (statement of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries) [hereinafter Markup Tr.].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In complete disregard of these concerns, the Majority 
refuses to conduct routine oversight over the Trump 
Administration and, instead, offers various excuses for voting 
against H. Res. 184: the resolution ``does not seem to be very 
bipartisan;''\3\ it is ``inappropriate'' for our Committee to 
seek documents that may have been requested by the intelligence 
committees and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as 
they investigate President Trump's various connections to the 
Russian government;\4\ and resolutions of inquiry are a ``waste 
of time.''\5\ Each of these arguments, however, is an 
abdication of this Committee's responsibility to oversee the 
integrity of the Executive Branch and, in particular, the 
United States Department of Justice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\Id. (statement of Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner).
    \4\Id. (statement of Chairman Robert Goodlatte).
    \5\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For these reasons and those discussed below, we 
respectfully dissent.

                       DESCRIPTION AND BACKGROUND

                              DESCRIPTION

    H. Res. 184 directs the President and the Attorney General 
to transmit to the House, not later than 14 days after the 
enactment of the resolution, copies of any document, record, 
memo correspondence, or other communication of the White House 
or the Department of Justice, respectively, that refers or 
relates to:
          (1) Any meeting or communication between Attorney 
        General Sessions and any representative of the Russian 
        government, including his meetings with the Russian 
        Ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak;
          (2) The Attorney General's testimony before the 
        Senate Committee on the Judiciary on January 10, 2017, 
        including but not limited to his statement that he 
        ``did not have communications with the Russians'';
          (3) The Attorney General's written response to 
        questions posed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in a 
        letter dated January 17, 2017;
          (4) The Attorney General's letter of March 6, 2017, 
        to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary;
          (5) The Attorney General's preparation for his 
        confirmation hearings, with respect to the subject of 
        contact between President Trump's campaign and any 
        representative of the Russian government;
          (6) The Attorney General's decision to recuse himself 
        from investigation related to the 2016 presidential 
        election, but not from other matters;
          (7) The application of the federal regulations 
        governing the appointment of special counsel by the 
        Department of Justice; and
          (8) Any meeting that occurred between any employee of 
        President Trump's campaign or transition team and any 
        representative of the Russian government.
    The Resolution expressly permits the White House and the 
Department of Justice to transmit this information in a 
classified format if necessary.

                               BACKGROUND

    Under the rules and precedents of the House, a resolution 
of inquiry is used to obtain information from the executive 
branch. A resolution of inquiry is directed at the President of 
the United States or the head of a Cabinet-level agency, 
requesting facts within the control of the executive branch.\6\ 
As a ``simple resolution,'' designated by ``H. Res.,'' a 
resolution of inquiry does not carry the force of law. 
``Compliance by the executive branch with the House's request 
is voluntary, resting largely on a sense of comity between co-
equal branches of government and a recognition of the necessity 
for Congress to be well-informed as it legislates.''\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Christopher M. Davis, Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of 
Their Use in the House, 1947-2011, Cong. Research Service, May 15, 2012 
(R40879).
    \7\Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    House Rules afford resolutions of inquiry a privileged 
parliamentary status. A Member files a resolution of inquiry 
like any other legislation. The resolution is then referred to 
the proper committee of jurisdiction. If the committee does not 
report the resolution to the House within 14 legislative days 
of its introduction, however, a motion to discharge the 
resolution from committee can be made on the House floor.\8\ In 
practice, then, even when the Majority opposes a resolution of 
inquiry, a committee may mark it up and report it--perhaps 
adversely--to prevent its sponsor from making a privileged 
motion to call up the legislation on the House floor.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\House Rule XIII, clause 7.
    \9\Davis, supra note 6, at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Resolution is a simple request for information from the 
White House and the Department of Justice. By its nature, a 
resolution of inquiry cannot draw conclusions about the 
Attorney General's testimony or the Administration's meetings 
with Russian officials. Our Committee has primary 
responsibility for oversight of the Department of Justice. No 
aspect of that responsibility is more important than ensuring 
the independence and integrity of the Office of the Attorney 
General.

                   REASONS WHY H. RES. 184 IS NEEDED

    Given the events of the past few months, at least three 
matters merit the Committee's immediate attention. First, 
Attorney General Sessions has not fully explained his false 
testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Second, the 
scope of the Attorney General's recusal from matters related to 
his testimony may not be sufficient to address his ongoing 
conflicts of interest. Finally, the Attorney General is one of 
several individuals involved in the Trump campaign to have 
concealed his meetings with a representative of the Russian 
government. H. Res. 184 would have helped Members to obtain the 
information they need to investigate these issues in earnest as 
it asks for information about the Attorney General's meetings 
with Russian officials, his testimony before the Senate 
Judiciary Committee, his later ``clarification'' of that 
testimony, and his preparation for his confirmation hearings 
with respect to reports of communications between the Trump 
campaign and the Russian government. This information is 
critical to understanding why the Attorney General twice gave 
false testimony, and whether his attempt to correct that false 
testimony is adequate.

I. Attorney General Sessions Failed To Provide an Adequate Explanation 
        for His False Testimony Before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    On January 10, 2017, at the Attorney General's confirmation 
hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Al 
Franken (D-MN) engaged in an exchange with then-Senator 
Sessions:

          Franken: CNN just published a story alleging that the 
        intelligence community provided documents to the 
        president-elect last week that included information 
        that, quote, ``Russian operatives claimed to have 
        compromising personal and financial information about 
        Mr. Trump.'' The documents also allegedly say, quote, 
        ``There was a continuing exchange of information during 
        the campaign between Trump's surrogates and 
        intermediaries for the Russian government.''
          Now, again, I'm telling you this as it's coming out, 
        so you know. But if it's true, it's obviously extremely 
        serious and 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: 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 did not have communications with the 
        Russians, and I'm unable to comment on it.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Attorney General Nomination, Hearing before the S. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, 115th Cong (2017) (exchange between Sen. Al Franken and Sen. 
Jeff Sessions) (emphasis added).

    Attorney General Sessions later responded to several 
questions for the record posed by Senator Patrick Leahy. With 
respect to any contact with the Russian government, the 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney General's response was categorical:

          Several of the President-Elect's nominees or senior 
        advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact 
        with anyone connected to any part of the Russian 
        government about the 2016 election, either before or 
        after election day?
          RESPONSE: No.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Id. (response to questions for the record from Sen. Patrick 
Leahy, submitted Jan. 17, 2017).

    Both of these statements are demonstrably false.
    Then-Senator Jeff Sessions formally endorsed Donald Trump 
for president on February 28, 2016.\12\ On March 3, 2016, Mr. 
Trump named Senator Sessions as chairman of his campaign's 
national security advisory committee.\13\ From that point 
forward, the Attorney General was a senior adviser to and 
surrogate for the Trump campaign.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Eli Stokols, Sen. Jeff Sessions endorses Trump, Politico, Feb. 
28, 2016.
    \13\Philip Bump, What Jeff Sessions said about Russia, and when, 
Wash. Post, Mar. 2, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 18, 2016, on the first day of the Republican 
National Convention, the Heritage Foundation hosted a panel 
conversation on European relations. One delegate wrote: ``Much 
of the discussion focused on Russia's incursions into Ukraine 
and Georgia,'' and ``[s]everal ambassadors asked for names of 
people who might impact foreign policy under Trump.''\14\ At 
the conclusion of this event, contrary to his testimony, 
Attorney General Sessions met and spoke with Russian Ambassador 
Sergey Kislyak.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\Victor Ashe, Delegate diary: Side events more interesting than 
the convention, Knoxville News Sentinel, July 19, 2016.
    \15\Adam Entous et al., Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last 
year, encounters he later did not disclose, Wash. Post, Mar. 1, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On September 8, 2016, the Attorney General met again with 
Ambassador Kislyak in his Senate office.\16\ According to the 
Attorney General, he and the Ambassador discussed terrorism and 
Russian activity in Ukraine, but no ``specific political 
discussions.''\17\ By September 2016, reports that Russian 
hackers had gained access to servers at the Democratic National 
Committee had been in the news for months.\18\ However, 
according to his own account, Attorney General Sessions made no 
mention of this Russian operation to the Russian ambassador.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\ Id.
    \17\Aaron Blake, Transcript of Jeff Sessions' recusal news 
conference, annotated, Wash. Post, Mar. 2, 2017.
    \18\See, e.g., Ellen Nakashima, Russian government hackers 
penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump, Wash. Post, June 
14, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Attorney General testified--in person and in writing--
that he had made no contacts with Russian officials during the 
course of the campaign. That testimony was clearly false. His 
later attempts to reconcile his testimony to the facts are 
equally puzzling. As Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) pointed out, 
``as a lawyer and a long-term Member of Congress who has 
participated in many confirmation hearings, Jeff Sessions 
should know better.''\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\ Markup Tr. (statement of Rep. Pramilla Jayapal).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In several statements after the Washington Post reported on 
his two meetings with Ambassador Kislyak, the Attorney General 
argued: ``I never had meetings with Russian operatives or 
Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.''\20\ That 
phrasing does not reflect the testimony given by the Attorney 
General at his confirmation hearing: ``I did not have 
communications with the Russians.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\Aaron Blake, Transcript of Jeff Sessions' recusal news 
conference, annotated, Wash. Post, Mar. 2, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Later, a spokesperson for the Trump Administration claimed 
that the Attorney General was asked ``about communications 
between Russia and the Trump campaign--not about meetings he 
took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services 
Committee.''\21\ The Washington Post contacted the other 26 
members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2016. Of the 
20 who responded, none had met with the Russian Ambassador.\22\ 
The Attorney General was both associated with the Trump 
campaign and aware of the Russian government's efforts to 
influence the election during both of the meetings he later 
acknowledged. It is not clear how his also being a sitting 
Senator would give the Attorney General license to give the 
unqualified impression that he ``did not have communications 
with the Russians.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Adam Entous et al., Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last 
year, encounters he later did not disclose, Wash. Post, Mar. 1, 2017.
    \22\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On March 6, 2017, Attorney General Sessions wrote to the 
Senate Judiciary Committee to supplement his testimony. ``My 
answer was correct. . . . I was surprised by the allegations in 
[Senator Franken's] question, which I had not heard 
before.''\23\ It strains belief to suggest that a U.S. Senator, 
active in the campaign and nominated to be Attorney General, 
first learned of widely reported allegations of contact between 
the Trump campaign and the Russian government while sitting at 
his confirmation hearing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Letter from U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions to Sen. 
Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, and Sen. 
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary 
(Mar. 6, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Attorney General's supplemental testimony discloses two 
meetings with the Russian ambassador--at the convention in July 
2016 and in his office in September 2016.\24\ It does not, 
however, acknowledge the possibility of a third meeting with 
Ambassador Kislyak. On April 27, 2016, President Trump gave a 
foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, 
stating, ``I believe an easing of tensions, and improved 
relations with Russia--from a position of strength only--is 
possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, 
this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end 
soon. Good for both countries.''\25\ Ambassador Kislyak sat in 
the front row for that speech.\26\ The Attorney General was 
also in attendance. According to one account, ``at a reception 
in the Senate Room of the Mayflower, a number of politicians 
and Trump advisers, such as Senator Jeff Sessions and 
ambassadors, congregated before the event.''\27\ Neither the 
Attorney General's initial testimony nor his supplementary 
statement account for any conversation that may have taken 
place at this April meeting.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Id.
    \25\Transcript: Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Speech, N.Y. Times, 
Apr. 27, 2016.
    \26\Greg Miller et al., National security adviser Flynn discussed 
sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say, 
Wash. Post, Feb. 9, 2017.
    \27\Jacob Heilbrunn, Why I Hosted Trump's Foreign Policy Speech, 
Politico, Apr. 27, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the House of Representatives, our Committee has primary 
responsibility for overseeing the Department of Justice. It is 
incumbent on the Committee to seek the information necessary to 
fill the gaps in the Attorney General's account. H. Res. 184 
addresses several lingering questions: How could the Attorney 
General possibly have been surprised that the topic of Russia 
would come up at his confirmation hearing? Why did he give the 
impression that he had never met with the Russian Ambassador? 
Why did it take three weeks to even attempt to correct the 
record? Is the record now complete, given the possibility of 
additional meetings between the Attorney General and the 
Russian Ambassador?
    Although Chairman Goodlatte asserts that ``a resolution of 
inquiry is an inappropriate and really ineffective method for 
conducting effective oversight,''\28\ we cannot defer our 
oversight responsibilities to any other agency or congressional 
committee. By voting to report H. Res. 184 unfavorably, the 
Majority has blocked the measure from reaching the House floor 
and signaled an unwillingness to even ask about the Attorney 
General's false testimony.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\Markup Tr. (statement of Chairman Bob Goodlatte).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. The Attorney General's recusal from matters related to the 2016 
        campaign is, at best, incomplete.

    H. Res. 184 also requests information related to the 
Attorney General's decision to recuse himself from any matter 
related to the Trump campaign, as well as the Administration's 
analysis of the regulations governing the appointment of 
special counsel. This information will help the Committee 
assess the particular phrasing of the Attorney General's 
recusal, and the extent to which he plans to be involved in 
other ongoing investigations of President Trump.
    Attorney General Sessions has recused himself ``from any 
existing or future investigations of any matters in any way 
related to the campaigns for President of the United 
States.''\29\ He has ``taken no actions regarding any such 
matters,'' and his recusal ``should not be interpreted as 
confirmation of the existence of any investigation or 
suggestive of the scope of any such investigation.''\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\Attorney General Sessions Statement on Recusal, U.S. Dept. of 
Justice, Office of Public Affairs, Mar. 2, 2017.
    \30\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Federal regulations provide that no employee of the 
Department of Justice, including the Attorney General:
          shall participate in a criminal investigation or 
        prosecution if he has a personal or political 
        relationship with:
          (1) Any person or organization substantially involved 
        in the conduct of the investigation or prosecution; or
          (2) Any person or organization which he knows a 
        specific and substantial interest that would be 
        directly affected by the outcome of the investigation 
        or prosecution.\31\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\28 C.F.R. Sec. 45.2(a) (2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The regulations define ``political relationship'' as ``a 
close identification with an elected official . . . arising 
from service as a principal adviser thereto or principal 
official thereof.''\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\Id. Sec. 45.1(c)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Attorney General Sessions clearly has a ``political 
relationship'' with President Trump. He therefore should be 
disqualified from any investigation or prosecution in which 
President Trump is ``substantially involved'' or in which the 
President has ``a specific and substantial interest.'' Out of 
the many possible investigations of direct interest to 
President Trump, it is not clear why the Attorney General chose 
to limit his recusal solely to matters ``related to the 
campaigns for President of the United States.''
    The recusal does not appear to reach matters that pre-date 
the campaign. For example, the Department apparently has been 
investigating the business dealings of former Trump campaign 
manager Paul Manafort long before he became manager of the 
Trump campaign.\33\ According to reports, this investigation 
centers on Mr. Manafort's work for former Ukrainian President 
Viktor Yanukovych.\34\ This matter is not ``related to the 
campaigns for President,'' but President Trump has a ``specific 
and substantial interest'' in any decision to charge his one-
time campaign manager with a federal crime.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \33\Steven Lee Myers & Andrew E. Kramer, How Paul Manafort Wielded 
Power in Ukraine Before Advising Donald Trump, N.Y. Times, July 31, 
2016.
    \34\Andrew E. Kramer et al., Secret Leger in Ukraine Lists Cash for 
Donald Trump's Campaign Chief, N.Y. Times, Aug. 14, 2016.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The recusal also may not reach events that occurred after 
the campaign had ended. Attorney General Sessions concedes that 
the scope of his recusal includes ``Russian contacts with the 
Trump transition team and administration.''\35\ It is less 
clear that his recusal extends to any collateral matters. For 
example, the Attorney General is presumably recused from any 
investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael 
Flynn's discussions with the Russian Ambassador.\36\ But any 
investigation into Mr. Flynn's decision to lie about those 
discussions--including, possibly, to any federal investigators 
who may have interviewed him--is predicated on events that 
occurred entirely after ``the campaigns for President'' had 
concluded.\37\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\Letter from U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions to Sen. 
Charles Grassley, Chairman, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, and Sen. Dianne 
Feinstein, Ranking Member, S. Comm. on the Judiciary, Mar. 6, 2017.
    \36\See Adam Entous et al., Justice Department warned White House 
that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say, 
Wash. Post, Feb. 13, 2017.
    \37\See Greg Miller et al., National security adviser Flynn 
discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials 
say, Wash. Post, Feb. 9, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The recusal certainly does not reach other widely-reported 
matters that may be pending at the Department of Justice. 
President Trump has potentially unorthodox business 
relationships in some of the most corrupt countries in the 
world.\38\ Although the President denies having any business 
dealings in Russia, he has sought and received funding from 
Russian oligarchs, ``especially after most American banks 
stopped lending to him following his multiple 
bankruptcies.''\39\ He has called the Foreign Corrupt Practices 
Act a ``horrible law'' that ``puts us at a huge 
disadvantage.''\40\ In Azerbaijan, the President and his family 
worked with a notoriously corrupt Minister of Transportation on 
a building project that appears to have been a front for Iran's 
Revolutionary Guard.\41\ If these cases, or anything like them, 
appear before the Department of Justice, Attorney General 
Sessions remains the senior official in charge--even though he 
has a direct political relationship with the target of the 
investigation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\See Richard C. Paddock et al., Potential Conflicts Around the 
Globe for Trump, the Businessman President, N.Y. Times, Nov. 26, 2016.
    \39\Max Boot, Trump's Opposition Research Firm: Russia's 
Intelligence Agencies, L.A. Times, July 25, 2016.
    \40\Trump: Dimon's Woes & Zuckerberg's Prenuptial, CNBC, broadcast 
May 15, 2012.
    \41\Adam Davidson, Donald Trump's Worst Deal, New Yorker, Mar. 13, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Given the substantial likelihood that President Trump and 
his associates have been, and will continue to be, the subject 
of investigation by the Department of Justice, one option for 
Attorney General Sessions is to appoint a special counsel to 
handle the matter. Federal regulations permit the Attorney 
General to do so ``when he or she determines that a criminal 
investigation is warranted'' and that ``investigation or 
prosecution . . . would present a conflict of interest for the 
Department.''\42\ H. Res. 184 directs the Attorney General to 
transmit his analysis of these regulations to the House--so 
that Members can examine what steps he has taken, if any, to 
avoid an ongoing conflict of interest. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) 
was one of the first Republicans to suggest that the Attorney 
General is ``going to have to use the special prosecutor 
statute.''\43\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \42\26 C.F.R. Sec. 600.1 (2012).
    \43\Melanie Mason, GOP Rep. Darrell Issa tells Bill Maher a special 
prosecutor should investigate Russian election interference, L.A. 
Times, Feb. 24, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unfortunately, the Majority has shown little interest in 
assessing whether the current scope of the Attorney General's 
recusal is appropriate, or whether the appointment of a special 
counsel is in order. By voting to report H. Res. 184 
unfavorably and block the measure from reaching the House 
floor, the Majority has abandoned its responsibility to conduct 
oversight of the Department of Justice, and to follow the facts 
wherever they may lead us.

III. Attorney General Sessions is one of several associates of 
        President Trump to have concealed his contacts with the Russian 
        government.

    Although the majority of H. Res. 184 is directed at the 
Attorney General's false testimony and his subsequent recusal, 
the resolution also requests information about any meeting that 
occurred between any employee of President Trump's campaign or 
transition team and any representative of the Russian 
government.
    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House 
Permanent Committee on Intelligence and a leader of that 
Committee's investigation into the President's connections to 
the Russian government, put the problem succinctly: ``At the 
outset of the investigation, there was circumstantial evidence 
of collusion. There was direct evidence, I think, of 
deception.''\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\Kailani Koenig, Rep. Schiff: ``Circumstantial Evidence of 
Collusion'' Between Trump Campaign, Russia, NBC News, Mar. 19, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the markup of H. Res. 184, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) 
also helped to put the Attorney General's false testimony into 
context:

          [A]s members of the Judiciary Committee, we have an 
        opportunity right now to do a small piece of this 
        investigation to understand why, when asked under oath, 
        the Attorney General misled his Senate confirmation 
        panel about prior contacts with Russia. And perhaps 
        just one person in the Administration misleading about 
        prior contacts with Russia could be excused with an 
        innocent explanation. I think we are all willing to 
        accept that. However, when you put this in context you 
        do not see coincidences; you see a pattern of 
        deception. . . .
          And what this Committee should seek to do is to 
        understand what does that pattern mean.\45\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \45\Markup Tr. (statement of Rep. Eric Swalwell).

    Attorney General Sessions was just one of the President's 
associates to have hidden or lied about his contacts with 
Russian officials. H. Res. 184 asks about some of them by name.
    On December 29, 2016, the same day that President Obama 
imposed sanctions on certain Russian officials in response to 
Russian interference in the presidential campaign, former 
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn spoke with the Russian 
ambassador to the United States about lifting those sanctions 
once Donald Trump took office.\46\ In public--and apparently 
also in private conversations with Vice President Mike Pence--
Mr. Flynn flatly denied having any such discussions. On 
February 9, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Mr. Flynn 
had, in fact, discussed lifting sanctions in his conversations 
with the Russian ambassador.\47\ Three weeks after the White 
House learned of this duplicity, Mr. Flynn resigned.\48\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\Adam Entous et al., Justice Department warned White House that 
Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say, Wash. 
Post, Feb. 13, 2017.
    \47\Greg Miller et al., National security adviser Flynn discussed 
sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say, 
Wash. Post, Feb. 9, 2017.
    \48\Maggie Haberman et al., Michael Flynn Resigns as National 
Security Adviser, N.Y. Times, Feb. 13, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jared Kushner--President Trump's son-in-law and senior 
adviser--participated in a meeting with Ambassador Kislyak in 
December.\49\ It may be entirely proper for a senior transition 
team official to meet with a foreign leader, but Mr. Flynn's 
participation in that meeting was not disclosed until after he 
resigned as National Security Adviser.\50\ The Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence recently asked to question Mr. 
Kushner about a number of other previously undisclosed meetings 
with Russian officials. At least one such meeting included a 
conversation with the head of a Russian bank that has been 
subject to U.S. sanctions since Russia's invasion of Crimea and 
Ukraine.\51\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\Evan Osnos et al., Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War, New 
Yorker, Feb. 26, 2017.
    \50\Michael S. Schmidt, Kushner and Flynn Met With Russian Envoy in 
December, White House Says, N.Y. Times, Mar. 2, 2017.
    \51\Jo Becker et al., Senate Committee to Question Jared Kushner 
Over Meetings With Russians, N.Y. Times, Mar. 27, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to reports, the FBI has questioned Carter Page, a 
foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, for his frequent 
trips to Moscow and alleged contacts with Russian officials 
subject to U.S. sanctions.\52\ In an interview on February 15, 
2017, Mr. Page claimed that he had participated in ``no 
meetings'' with Russian officials in the past year.\53\ On 
March 2, 2017, USA Today reported that both Mr. Page and J.D. 
Gordon, director of the national security advisory committee 
for the Trump campaign, met with the Russian ambassador at the 
Republican National Convention in July 2016.\54\ Mr. Page 
admitted his earlier misstatement in an interview broadcast 
later that evening.\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \52\Michael Isikoff, U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump 
advisor and Kremlin, Yahoo! News, Sept. 24, 2016.
    \53\Former Trump adviser says he had no Russian meetings in the 
past year, PBS News Hour, Feb. 15, 2017.
    \54\Steve Reilly, Exclusive: Two other Trump advisers also spoke 
with Russian envoy during GOP convention, USA Today, Mar. 2, 2017.
    \55\``I am not going to deny that I talked to him. I will say I 
never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland.'' All in with Chris Hayes, 
MSNBC, broadcast Mar. 2, 2017 (interview with Carter Page).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Richard Burt, a former U.S. Ambassador to Germany and a 
lobbyist for interests controlled by the Russian government, 
helped to write President Trump's first foreign policy speech 
even as he was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars to 
build a gas pipeline for Russian gas giant Gazprom.\56\ As the 
chairman of the Trump campaign's national security advisory 
committee, then-Senator Jeff Sessions invited Mr. Burt ``to 
discuss issues of national security and foreign policy, and 
wrote white papers for Sessions on the same subjects.''\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\Ben Schreckinger & Julia Ioffe, Lobbyist advised Trump campaign 
while promoting Russian pipeline, Politico, Oct. 7, 2016.
    \57\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort once worked as 
a pro-Kremlin political consultant in Ukraine.\58\ He 
reportedly oversaw the softening of the Republican National 
Committee's platform on Russia.\59\ While working for the Trump 
campaign, he appears to have been the target of a blackmail 
attempt by a Ukrainian politician--who claimed to have 
``bulletproof'' evidence related to certain financial 
arrangements between Mr. Manafort and Ukraine's former 
president, pro-Russian strongman Viktor Yanukovych.\60\ The FBI 
has been investigating his business dealings in Russia and 
Ukraine for some time.\61\ Other recent reporting has raised 
questions about Mr. Manafort's use of shell corporations to 
purchase real estate in New York City,\62\ money laundering 
through Cypriot banks,\63\ and a secret deal with one Russian 
oligarch to influence politics in the United States to 
``greatly benefit the Putin government.''\64\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\Amber Philips, Paul Manafort's complicated ties to Ukraine, 
explained, Wash. Post, Aug. 19, 2016.
    \59\Josh Rogin, Trump campaign guts GOP's anti-Russia stance on 
Ukraine, Wash. Post, July 18, 2016.
    \60\Kenneth P. Vogel et al., Manafort faced blackmail attempt, 
hacks suggest, Politico, Feb. 23, 2016.
    \61\Ken Dilanian et al., FBI Making Inquiry into Ex-Trump Campaign 
Manager's Foreign Ties, NBC News, Nov. 1, 2016.
    \62\Ilya Marritz & Andrea Bernstein, Paul Manafort's Puzzling New 
York Real Estate Purchases, WNYC News, Mar. 28, 2017.
    \63\Aggelos Petropoulos & Richard Engel, Manafort-Linked Accounts 
on Cyprus Raised Red Flag, NBC News, Mar. 29, 2017.
    \64\Jeff Horwitz & Chad Day, AP Exclusive: Before Trump job, 
Manafort worked to aid Putin, Assoc. Press, Mar. 22, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trump campaign advisor Roger Stone has been swept into 
similar investigations.\65\ During the campaign, he bragged 
about ``back-channel'' communications with WikiLeaks and 
appeared to know that WikiLeaks would publish emails from 
Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta--emails exfiltrated from 
the Democratic National Committee by Russian state actors--
months before those emails became public.\66\ On March 4, 2017, 
Mr. Stone again claimed a ``perfectly legal back channel'' to 
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange--and then deleted the 
statement from Twitter.\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\Michael S. Schmidt, Intercepted Russian Communications Part of 
Inquiry into Trump Associates, N.Y. Times, Jan. 29, 2017.
    \66\Alexa Ard, Donald Trump ally Roger Stone admits ``back-
channel'' tie to WikiLeaks, McClatchy, Oct. 12, 2016.
    \67\Marina Fang, Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone Admits Collusion 
with WikiLeaks, Then Deletes It, Huffington Post, Mar. 5, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Michael D. Cohen, President Trump's private attorney, is 
working to bring ``peace'' to Ukraine through a Ukrainian 
lawmaker associated with Paul Manafort.\68\ The peace plan, 
which Mr. Cohen reportedly hand-delivered to Mr. Flynn in the 
days before his resignation, appears to turn on lifting 
sanctions on the Russian government and recognizing Crimea as 
part of Russia--both to the obvious gain of Vladimir Putin.\69\ 
Mr. Cohen has denied making a separate trip to the Czech 
Republic during the campaign to meet with Russian 
officials.\70\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \68\Megan Twohey and Scott Shane, A Back-Channel Plan for Ukraine 
and Russia, Courtesy of Trump Associates, N.Y. Times, Feb. 19, 2017.
    \69\Julia Ioffe, The Mystery of the Ukraine Peace Plan, The 
Atlantic, Feb. 20, 2017.
    \70\Hunter Walker, Trump attorney Michael Cohen: I have no Russian 
Kremlin connections, Yahoo! News, Jan. 11, 2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, there remain unanswered questions about the 
Attorney General's direct contacts with the Russian government. 
At his confirmation hearings, he testified: ``I did not have 
communications with the Russians.''\71\ That testimony was, at 
best, inaccurate. Steven Hall, a former head of Russia 
operations at the Central Intelligence Agency, notes that the 
Russian government would have incentive to cultivate a 
relationship with Senator Sessions, because of his role on key 
Senate committees and as an early adviser to the President. 
``The fact that he had already placed himself at least 
ideologically behind Trump would have been an added bonus for 
Kislyak.''\72\ Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to 
Russia, did not find it unusual for the Attorney General to 
have met with Ambassador Kislyak. ``The weird part is to 
conceal it. That was at the height of all the discussions of 
what Russia was doing during the election.''\73\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\Attorney General Nomination, hearing before the S. Comm. on the 
Judiciary, Jan. 10, 2017 (exchange between Sen. Al Franken and Sen. 
Jeff Sessions).
    \72\Adam Entous, et al., Sessions met with Russian envoy twice last 
year, encounters he later did not disclose, Wash. Post, Mar. 1, 2017.
    \73\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Each of the Trump campaign officials named in H. Res. 184 
appears to have had contact with the Russian government. Many 
of these officials served as national security advisors to the 
campaign--and Attorney General Sessions served the campaign as 
chair of its national security advisory committee. Whether or 
not he engaged in any wrongdoing, the Attorney General sat in 
the center of a group of individuals who met with Russian 
officials and then attempted to obscure those meetings.
    The Committee has an obligation to investigate this pattern 
of behavior. In particular, we have an obligation to 
investigate how that pattern may implicate the sitting Attorney 
General of the United States. By voting to report H. Res. 184 
unfavorably and block it from consideration by the full House, 
the Majority chooses to ignore that obligation.

                               CONCLUSION

    At the markup of H. Res. 184, Rep. Jeffries raised a key 
question about an unexplained shift in the Attorney General's 
outlook:

          Before hooking up with Donald Trump, then-Senator 
        Sessions was quite clear on the systematic fraud and 
        corruption in Putin's Russia. But something changed 
        after joining the Trump team. And in March of last 
        year, days after his official endorsement of Donald 
        Trump, he said, ``I think an argument can be made that 
        there is no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at 
        this loggerheads. We ought to be able to break that 
        logjam.''
          Why did Jeff Sessions suddenly forget that Putin's 
        brutal and corrupt regime undermines America's 
        democratic values? The American people deserve to 
        know.\74\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \74\Markup Tr. (statement of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries).

    By itself, there is nothing untoward about a shift in a 
sitting Senator's foreign policy. In isolation and after a good 
faith attempt at correction, a case of mistaken testimony 
before a congressional committee would be little cause for 
concern. Taken all together, however, the evidence suggests 
that the Attorney General and his associates from the Trump 
campaign have engaged in a pattern of behavior that raises too 
many questions to ignore.
    We are disappointed, but not surprised, that the Majority 
refuses to ask these critical questions of the Department of 
Justice and the White House. We will continue to press the 
Trump Administration for answers, with or without the Majority.
    Accordingly, we strongly support H. Res. 184 and 
respectfully dissent from the Majority's motion to report it 
unfavorably.

                                   Mr. Conyers, Jr.
                                   Mr. Nadler.
                                   Ms. Lofgren.
                                   Ms. Jackson Lee.
                                   Mr. Cohen.
                                   Mr. Johnson, Jr.
                                   Mr. Deutch.
                                   Mr. Gutierrez.
                                   Ms. Bass.
                                   Mr. Richmond.
                                   Mr. Jeffries.
                                   Mr. Cicilline.
                                   Mr. Swalwell.
                                   Mr. Lieu.
                                   Ms. Jayapal.
                                   Mr. Raskin.

                                  [all]