White House staff told to preserve Russia-related materials
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 04, 2017,
Mar 04, 2017, 18:56
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced to reporters that he would recuse himself from any investigations into President Donald Trump and the Trump campaign's possible communications with Russian Federation.
One was an office visit in the fall, and the other occurred in a group setting following a Heritage Foundation speech that Sessions gave during the summer.
The Washington Post first reported on Sessions' meetings with the official.
Mr Adam Schiff, a Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, rejected Mr Sessions' claim that his contacts with Mr Kislyak were unrelated to his work with the Trump campaign as "simply not credible".
Sessions' failure to disclose the contacts anxious even some of his fellow Republicans.
The memo, sent to White House staff on Tuesday, follows a request from Senate Democrats last week asking the White House - as well as law enforcement agencies - to keep all materials involving contacts that Trump's administration, campaign and transition team - or anyone acting on their behalf - have had with Russian government officials or their associates.
The letter came a day after Sessions, the country's top justice official and a key ally of Republican President Donald Trump, removed himself from any investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the election.
U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions, responding to mounting pressure from Democrats and from his own party, announced that he is recusing himself from any current or future investigations into the 2016 USA presidential campaigns. "I have been called a surrogate at a time or two during that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians and I'm unable to comment on it".
Protesters calling for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in front of the Justice Department on Thursday.
Sessions did not disclose the meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak under questioning during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January. Accusing the Democrats of creating the fuss around Jeff Sessions, Trump said the Democrats are overplaying their hand as they lost the elections and now they have lost their grip on reality.
Grassley has replied to say he has no plans for such hearing.
He had little to say on foreign policy, except a willingness to "find new friends" and to "forge new partnerships".
He said he did not have meetings with the Russians about the Trump campaign. And President George W. Bush's former ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, said, "Misleading the Senate in sworn testimony about [one's] own contacts with the Russians is a good way to go to jail".
"If he himself is a subject of an investigation, of course he should (recuse himself.) But if he's not I don't see any objective or reason for doing this", Ryan told reporters Thursday.
CNN reporter Ana Navarro tells Detroit Today producer Jake Neher it's not enough for Sessions to just recuse himself. "The information reported last night makes it clear, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Attorney General Sessions can not possibly lead an investigation. with these revelations, he may very well become the subject of it".