The Impeachment Inquiry Spotlight Shines On Pete Sessions And Rick Perry

Sessions, a former North Texas congressman is believed to be the “Congressman 1” mentioned in an indictment of two Ukrainian-American businessmen. Perry has received subpoenas from three House committees investigating the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

By Rhonda FanningOctober 11, 2019 2:36 pm

The nation’s biggest political scandal has put some prominent Texans in the spotlight this week. They include Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former North Texas Congressman Pete Sessions.

The Dallas Morning News has been reporting on the broadening impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s July call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Todd Gillman is Washington bureau chief for the Morning News. He says Sessions is believed to be the “Congressman 1” referred to in the indictment of two associates of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani.

Sessions met with the men, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, who have been indicted on federal election law violations. The indictment alleges the two illegally funneled money into a PAC supporting Trump’s reelection.

Sessions says the meeting had to do with the oil business in Ukraine. Gillman says the indictment alleges that the meeting actually concerned an effort to convince the State Department to remove Marie Yovanovitch as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

“Sessions says ‘we never talked about that. We met a few more times. We still never talked about that.’ Gillman says.

But Sessions sent a letter to the secretary of state, asking that Yovanovitch, who had not supported the effort to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, Gillman says. Yovanovitch was removed from her position in May.

Sessions is not accused of wrongdoing in the indictment of Fruman and Parnas

Fruman and Parnass are U.S. citizens, and are thus free to give money to political candidates. But if the money they gave Sessions is found to come from a foreign source, the contributions would not be legal.

Three House committees have issued subpoenas for Perry.

“They want to know what Rick Perry knows about this effort by Rudy Giuliani and the president to pressure Ukraine to open a corruption investigation into Joe Biden and his son,” Gillman says.

Perry had dealings with Ukraine, including attending Zelensky’s inauguration in Trump’s place. Trump said recently that he had made the call to Zelensky in July at Perry’s urging.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.