Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions bowed to pressure Thursday and said he would recuse himself from any federal probe of Russian meddling in the presidential election.
Insisting again that he had no improper contacts with the Russians, Sessions said he nevertheless will withdraw because of his involvement in the Trump campaign. Sessions said he met with ethics lawyers and concluded: “I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in.” And that goes for any investigations pertaining to the presidential campaigns as well, he said. “I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States,”Sessions laid out in his statement. “This announcement should not be interpreted as confirmation of the existence of any investigation or suggestive of the scope of any such investigation,” Sessions added in the statement.
Sessions is under fire for not disclosing during his confirmation hearing that he met with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. “In retrospect, I should have slowed down and said, ‘But I did meet with one Russian official a couple times, that would be the ambassador’,” he told reporters. Sessions spoke shortly after President Donald Trump told reporters he had “total” confidence in his AG amid calls from some lawmakers that he recuse himself or even resign from the Justice Department. Earlier, Sessions denied meeting with Russian officials during the course of the presidential election to discuss the Trump campaign.