Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from any investigation into retired Gen. Michael Flynn, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson in a Wednesday CNN interview.
"Any investigation headed, directed by, or influenced by the Attorney General will be jaundiced from the very start".
Flynn stepped down late Monday for discussing American economic sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.in late December, and "inadvertently" misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversation.
In addition to a Sessions recusal, Democrats also called on administration, transition and campaign officials not to destroy records of Russian contacts.
"I think there are a number of unanswered questions that need to be answered about the documents about whether there was a FISA order".
"The disclosure that General Flynn spoke repeatedly to Russian Ambassador Kislyak regarding the easing of US sanctions on Russia, potentially undermining important USA foreign policy, reveals a stunning and potentially criminal dereliction of General Flynn's duty to our nation", the senators wrote. Every one of these questions should be applied to all of them, as well. Schumer said Flynn was subject to blackmail by Russians while he was participating in national security discussions.
"The new Attorney General Jeff Sessions can not be the person to lead that investigation ... it is a clear conflict of interest", Schumer said on the Senate floor, citing Department of Justice regulations. And the new attorney general.
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Department of Justice regulations specifically prohibit individuals who have political ties to the subjects of an investigation from leading that investigation.
But Republicans continued to brush off demands from Democrats for a Watergate-style probe, insisting investigations underway by the House and Senate intelligence committees are adequate. "I don't want to get hysterical about this".
The regulations continue. "Political relationship means a close identification with an elected official, candidate, political party or campaign organization arising from service as a principal advisor or official".
Schumer said Sessions "was a senior adviser in the Trump campaign, the first senator to endorse the president's campaign, and nominated him at the Republican convention in Cleveland".
Jeff Sessions was chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee alongside General Michael Flynn.
Sessions did, however, say he would recuse himself from any investigations related to Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server or any matters regarding the Clinton Foundation, given that he had previously made critical comments that "could place my objectivity in question". "What I'm trying to do is separate the things that are easy political hits from the substance that we need to deal with".