Franken Calls for Special Prosecutor: 'Need to See' Trump's Tax Returns

By Susan Jones | March 2, 2017 | 9:16 AM EST

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) wants to get a look at Donald Trump's tax returns, and he is calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to remove himself from any Russia-Trump investigations. He says an independent prosecutor must be appointed. (Screen grab from MSNBC's "Morning Joe")

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is not immediately calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' resignation following a Washington Post report that Sessions, while serving as a Trump campaign adviser, failed to disclose his two contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Instead, Franken wants Sessions to recuse himself from all Russia-Trump investigations; he wants the investigation turned over to an independent prosecutor; and he very much wants a look at Donald Trump's tax returns.

Speaking to MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday, Franken said Sessions was inaccurate when he told Franken at his Jan. 10 confirmation hearing, "I did not have communications with the Russians."

Sessions met with the Russian ambassador once in September in his Senate office; and he spoke to the same ambassador (and others) in July, at an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation.

Sessions on Thursday told reporters, "Well, I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign.”

"His responses to me weren't accurate," Franken said on Thursday. "So I would like to see him answer questions, and answer questions at a press conference and...then we can decide whether he should resign or not.

"But he certainly, at the very minimum, should recuse himself. This just makes common sense. He must recuse himself from any investigation that the FBI is doing, from any investigation at all into the ties of the Trump campaign to the Russians as the Russians were interfering with our democratic elections."

Asked what it would take to "end all the speculation" about the Trump's administration's ties to Russia, Franken said:

"Oh, it would take -- I believe an independent investigation. I believe the president should turn over his tax returns. His excuses for not turning over his tax returns during the campaign were completely bogus.

"You can open your tax returns if you're under audit, and also I don't think he was under audit...so I think that we need to see his tax returns...We've heard his son saying there was a tremendous amount of Russian money in their business."

Franken also pointed to reports that newly confirmed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is a "major stakeholder" in a Cyprus bank "that laundered money for the Russian oligarchs and former members of the KGB."

"This is really hinky," Franken said.

In a statement issued to Fox News Thursday morning, the Trump White House said:

"This is the latest attack against the Trump administration by partisan Democrats. General Sessions met with the ambassador in an official capacity as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is entirely consistent with his testimony. It's no surprise Sen. Al Franken is pushing this story immediately following President Trump's successful address to the nation."

Democrats have been demanding access to Donald Trump’s tax returns for months, both before and after his inauguration.


Also See:
With Sessions Under Fire, WH Blasts 'Latest Attack Against Trump Administration by Partisan Democrats'