What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. ~ Sir Walter ScottSenators are people too, so it is easy to deduce what Jeff Sessions was thinking when he deliberately lied to the Judiciary Committee.
Sessions knew the issue of Russian agents contact with the Trump campaign would come up and he knew he was part of that contact. He had already composed a lie for the question.
So, when Sen. Franken asked a general question about Russian contact Sessions responded with his canned answer that no one, including himself, had any contact with Russian agents.
Franken hadn't asked specifically about Sessions, Sessions volunteered that lie. Why? Sessions was so focused in covering up his own meetings with that Russian agent he missed the fact he could have avoided obvious perjury by simply omitting any reference to himself and Russians.
When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends. ~ Mark TwainThe current line out of the White House is that Sessions meetings with the Russian agent was routine Senate business (constituent services?). Were that the case the wisest course would have been to reveal it openly in committee. That would have caused a little kerfuffle but ultimately disarmed the issue.
But the meetings that Sessions, Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Michael Cohen, and probably others had with Russian agents during the campaign were far from routine. Trump's people feared if the length, breath, and depth of the Russian connections to the Trump campaign were know it would open them all up to public revulsion and probable criminal charges of espionage.
The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up. ~ Robert HeinleinSo they lie. Their fear is so great they engage in active lies when passive lies, lies of omission, would be more effective. They get caught in their lies because they tell too many of them. Their best hope now is to lie even more fervently.
The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might. ~ Mark Twain