Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not include two meetings with the Russian ambassador on a security clearance form submitted last year, but his aides say the information was left out because the FBI indicated it shouldn’t be listed, Politico reports. The form was completed by a Sessions staffer who initially listed all the senator’s meetings with foreign officials in 2016. However, the aide was told by the FBI that meetings Sessions held in his capacity as a senator did not need to be included, so it was taken off the form. “The staffer was instructed by the FBI not to list any contacts related to Senate business,” said a Justice Department official.
The Justice Department, responding to a story by CNN, said Sessions would have had to list possibly thousands of foreign nationals on his clearance form, known as an SF-86, had he not received advice otherwise.” In filling out the SF-86 form, the Attorney General’s staff consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities,” said DOJ’s Ian Prior. Sessions found himself in hot water with Senate Democrats after it was revealed he had met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year. Democrats said he should have disclosed the meetings at his confirmation hearing in January.