Attorney General Jeff Sessions has bowed to pressure and recused himself from overseeing the ongoing probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Sessions asked his staff for a “candid and honest” opinion about whether he should recuse himself, he said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. “My staff recommended recusal,” Sessions explained. “They said since I had involvement with the campaign I should not be involved in any campaign investigation. I have studied the rules and considered their comments. I believe those recommendations are right and just. Therefore I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign.”
Sessions reportedly met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak despite denying such contacts during his confirmation hearings earlier this year before the U.S. Congress.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, said Thursday morning that Sessions should recuse himself, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said the attorney general should consider recusing himself from the Russian probes.
Sessions said Thursday morning, hours after the story broke in the Washington Post, that he had “not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign.”
But he left open the possibility of stepping aside from overseeing the investigation.
“I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself,” Sessions said. “There’s no doubt about that.”