March 2, 2017 – Democracy 21 sent a second complaint this morning to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) that called on OPR “to make immediate public findings that Attorney General Jeff Sessions must immediately recuse himself from any Department of Justice investigations and actions relating to the Russian role in the 2016 presidential election.”
The second complaint follows up on a complaint sent by Democracy 21 to OPR on February 27, 2017 that documented:
“Sessions’ personal and political affiliation with President Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign” and stated that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is therefore required by Department of Justice regulations to recuse himself from all DOJ investigations and actions regarding Russia and the 2016 presidential election.
According to today’s complaint, “The February 27 complaint called on OPR to make public findings that Sessions is required to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and from any decision about whether to appoint an outside special counsel to deal with these matters.”
Today’s complaint noted that according to published reports in The Washington Post, Attorney General Sessions met twice with the Russian Ambassador during the presidential campaign period. This contradicts testimony Sessions made before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings. In his testimony, he said that, “I did not have communications with the Russians,” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
According to the complaint:
Sessions’ meetings with the Russian Ambassador means that Sessions himself is a potential subject of the FBI investigation currently taking place. These are new and additional grounds that require Sessions to immediately recuse himself from any involvement in any investigations and actions dealing with the involvement of Russians in the 2016 presidential campaign.
As we established in our February 27 complaint, Sessions was already required by DOJ regulations to recuse himself from these matters. As a potential subject of the investigation being conducted by the FBI, which falls under Sessions’ jurisdiction as head of the Justice Department, it could not be clearer that Sessions must immediately recuse himself from these matters.
Today’s complaint concluded:
The integrity and credibility of the Justice Department is at stake here.
The Office of Professional Responsibility must immediately make public findings and take all other appropriate steps to ensure that Attorney General Sessions immediately recuses himself from all investigations and actions relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, including any appointment of an outside special counsel.
To read the complaint: click here.