US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to talk about drugs in Billings Friday

29 April, 2018, 21:41 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Mark Wilson  Getty Images North America

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to say Wednesday if he has recused himself from the investigation into President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said in his opening statement, expressing concern over Mr. Trump's attacks on Sessions' DOJ. But he would not answer Coons' question about whether he'd talked about Cohen with anyone in the White House.

At the hearing on Wednesday, Sessions made clear that he believes Trump has the authority to unilaterally pardon Cohen and anyone else.

Mr. Sessions recused himself a year ago from the Justice Department's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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He then criticized as shocking several pardons issued during the Clinton administration.

That could put Sessions in the position of being asked by Trump, who strongly condemned the FBI raid on his longtime lawyer, to divulge information about the Cohen investigation.

Sessions announced in March that he would not approve the appointment of a second special counsel, but instead named a federal prosecutor from Utah, John Huber, to lead the investigation into Republicans' allegations that the FBI and DOJ abused a surveillance program against a former Trump campaign aide.

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In an interview on "Fox and Friends" early Thursday, Trump hinted he might get more aggressive in trying to shake up leadership at the Justice Department, saying: "I've taken the position - and I don't have to take this position and maybe I'll change - that I will not be involved with the Justice Department". "That would be inappropriate", he continued. Chris Coons of Delaware, Sessions said he will recuse himself if he discovers any connection between the Cohen investigation and the continuing inquiry into Russian interference or anything related to the 2016 election.

"I do not think we need to willy-nilly appoint special counsels, and as we can see, it can really take on a life of its own", Sessions said. "I do have confidence in him".

Leahy also pressed Sessions about whether he would consider resigning in protest should the President fire Rosenstein, a scenario that was raised in reports last week.

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Sessions himself received words of support and encouragement from Senators on the panel.

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