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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 19, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 20
Investigate Jeff Sessions, Sens. Murray and Cantwell say
Section One
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Investigate Jeff Sessions, Sens. Murray and Cantwell say

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have signed a letter urging the Justice Department's inspector general to investigate whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions was acting properly when he authorized the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Sessions had previously recused himself from participating in any investigations of the Trump campaign's connections with Russia, but Trump fired Comey to terminate the FBI's Russia investigation - at least according to Trump's statements to NBC anchor Lester Holt.

'It is clear that Attorney General Sessions had an active role in the termination of Director Comey,' the senators wrote to Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

'This seems to be in direct violation of Attorney General Sessions' recusal from 'any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States.' At the time of his termination, Director Comey was actively leading the FBI's investigations into both the attempts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential campaign and the ties of members/employees/representatives of the Trump campaign had, or have, with the Russian government or Russian intelligence services.'

The senators ask the inspector general to answer the following questions:

o To what extent is Attorney General Sessions required to recuse himself from investigations into matters related to the Trump campaign under 28 CFR ยง45.2, or any other relevant rules and regulations?

o What was the scope of Attorney General Sessions' publicly announced March 2, 2017, recusal?

o What is the timeline of Attorney General Sessions' involvement in the removal of FBI Director James Comey?

o Did his involvement in Director Comey's termination violate his recusal agreement or requirements, or other DOJ rules, regulations, and precedents?

Sessions' involvement in the firing of Comey 'injected the exact 'partiality' in these investigations he claimed to wish to avoid,' the senators charged.

'Further, the President's recent admission that Comey was fired, at least in part, due to the Russia investigation only raises further questions about the role of the attorney general in the termination, his willingness to provide cover for a political decision, and both his and the Department of Justice's ability to perform an independent investigation.'

In addition to Murray and Cantwell, the letter was signed by Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

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