AG Jeff Sessions is under fire for not disclosing two meetings with the Russian Ambassador
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said early Thursday that he would be willing to recuse himself from any investigation of Russian involvement in the Trump campaign.
“I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself,” he told NBC News. “There’s no doubt about that.”
Over the past 24 hours after a Washington Post, story reported that while Sessions was on the campaign trail with then candidate Donald Trump he met with the Russian ambassador to the United States twice during the election. Sessions denied this suggestion during his confirmation in January.
Calls for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigations having to do with the Russian’s involvement in the U.S. elections gained momentum. As you might expect many Democrats were calling for the Attorney General to recuse himself, but by 9 a.m. even a large group of Republicans were doing the same.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), joined powerful Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who serves as the chairman of the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, in saying that Attorney General Sessions must recuse himself from any investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and its contacts with the Russian government.
AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) March 2, 2017
As BBC News reports, the justice department has confirmed that Sessions met Sergei Kislyak in July and September 2016 as part of his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Washington Post reports that the first meeting came when U.S. intelligence officials were investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the presidential election.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General has confirmed that the meetings took place, but denies either meeting was related to the election campaign. “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign,” Sessions’ statement said. “I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
During his confirmation hearing on January 10, Democrat Senator Al Franken asked Sessions what he would do if it is found that the Trump campaign had communicated with the Russian government during the campaign. Sessions replied, “I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians. And I’m unable to comment on it.”