In the aftermath of the Trump administration’s Muslim-targeting travel ban being allowed to go into effect by the Supreme Court, Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the matter.
While there, he didn’t stick to the one topic of the travel ban. Rather, towards the end of his interview, he took up the topic of the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including any potential Trump team collusion in that interference. In so doing, Sessions has violated the terms of his recusal from the investigation, which he laid out himself.
Sessions originally withdrew from the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he was a reasonable target of that investigation. While working on the Trump campaign, he met secretly with then-Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak, and making matters even worse, he initially lied about those meetings ever having taken place.
After Sessions bowed to pressure and recused himself from the Russia investigation following the revelations about his meetings with Kislyak, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took everything over.
A memo from early March written by Sessions’s Chief of Staff Kacie Hunt states of the AG’s recusal from Russia-related issues:
‘The Attorney General’s recusal is not only with respect to such investigations, if any, but also extends to Department responses to Congressional and media inquiries related to any such investigations.’
Even still, Sessions appeared on Fox this past week and found nothing wrong in offering his own take on the investigation into Russian electoral influence, which is now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Sessions at one point during the interview about the controversy surrounding the affiliations of many of those who Special Counsel Mueller has hired, a few of whom are Democrats. To this question, Sessions answered:
‘Mr. Mueller, is entitled, lawfully, I guess at this point, to hire who he desires, but I think he should look for people who have strength and credibility by all people.’
A number of third party ethics and legal experts marveled at these comments and others that Sessions offered about the Russia investigation while appearing on Fox this week.
For instance, Washington University law professor Kathleen Clark told POLITICO:
‘Perhaps the [Hunt] memo should have been sent to Sessions as well, since his response to Fox & Friends seems to indicate that Sessions is not aware that his recusal extends to media statements about the Russia investigation… Sessions should not participate in this type of attempt to undermine Mueller’s investigation.’
Sessions has drawn accusations of breaking the terms of his recusal from the Russia investigation in the past. He is said to have recommended to President Trump that he fire ousted FBI Director James Comey, who was helping lead the Russia investigation when he still had a job.
Watch video of Sessions’s appearance on Fox below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video.