US Attorney General to recuse himself if probed

Jeff Sessions under pressure as lawmakers consider response to Russia contact revelations

US Attorney General to recuse himself if probed

World Bulletin / News Desk

Attorney General Jeff Session said Thursday he will recuse himself from an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia "whenever it's appropriate”.

Sessions is facing increased calls for his recusal after the Washington Post reported he met twice with Russia’s Washington envoy during the run-up to last year’s presidential election. During congressional testimony Sessions denied the meetings occurred.

“I have said whenever it's appropriate, I will recuse myself," he told NBC News. "There's no doubt about that."

Sessions reiterated statements Wednesday that he did not meet with Russian officials “to discuss any political campaign”.

But the revelations continued to pose questions for the attorney general as lawmakers consider an appropriate response.

Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz wrote on Twitter that Sessions should “clarify his testimony and recuse himself”.

On the opposite side of the aisle, Democrats continued to sharpen their attacks as Senate Minority Chuck Schumer called for Sessions’ dismissal from the Justice Department.

“Recusal should have been given, but this goes beyond that,” he said. “Attorney General Sessions had weeks to correct the record he made before the Judiciary Committee, but he let the record stand.”

During his confirmation hearing Jan. 10  before the committee, Sessions was asked what he would do if there was evidence Trump campaign officials communicated with the Russian government during the campaign.

“I'm not aware of any of those activities,” he said. “I have been called a surrogate [for the Trump campaign] at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

But the Washington Post reported late Wednesday that Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak - once in July and again in September. The later meting took place inside Sessions' Senate office, according to the newspaper. 

Sessions spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores confirmed he met with Kislyak in a statement, but said it was normal business for a senator and member of the Armed Services Committee. 

"There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer" to Franken, she said. 

Democrat Keith Ellison was unconvinced, hinting that Sessions could face jail time for his testimony. 

"Since it has now come to light that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath about meeting with Russian officials during the campaign, we must be entirely clear on one thing: perjury is a felony and may be punishable by prison for up to five years," the first Muslim elected to Congress said in a statement. 



Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Mart 2017, 20:22