Society

Sessions Recuses Himself From Russia Investigation

| by Oren Peleg

Amid growing bipartisan calls for newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any U.S. Department of Justice investigations into the connection between the Trump administration and Russia, Sessions has agreed.

During a March 2 press conference, Sessions announced that he would remove himself from any investigation “related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States," according to NPR.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Session clarified at his press conference. "I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in."

The announcement comes one day after a report in The Washington Post claimed Sessions had contact with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice in the lead up to the Nov. 8 presidential election, and denied any contact with the Russians during his confirmation hearings with Congress in January.

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When Sen. Al Franken asked Sessions during the confirmation hearings how he would handle learning that an administration official and the Russians had colluded, Sessions, under oath, responded, “I’m not aware of any of those activities,” according to The Hill.

“I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians," Sessions added.

Responding to allegations of lying under oath, Sessions noted on March 2 that his testimony was as “honest and correct" as he understood it at the time, but that he would “write the Judiciary Committee soon ... to explain this testimony for the record,” notes The Washington Post.

“It struck me very hard, and that’s what I focused my answer on,” Sessions continued. “In retrospect, I should have slowed down and said I did meet one Russian official a couple times. That would be the ambassador.”

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Senate Minority Leader and top-ranking Democrat in the federal government, Chuck Schumer of New York, called for more action by Session.

"There cannot be even the scintilla of doubt about the impartiality and fairness of the attorney general, the top law enforcement official of the land," Schumer said, according to NPR. "Because the Department of Justice should be above reproach, for the good of the country Attorney General Sessions should resign."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California added that Sessions is “not fit to serve as the top law enforcement officer of our country and must resign," Vice News reports.

Sources: The Hill, The Washington Post, NPR (2), Vice News / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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