Originally on 5/9/17, as the story of the republican President Donald Trump’s firing of the FBI Director James Come became public knowledge. we the people,” the “see me now voters,” were expected to buy at face value that Rod Rosenstein’s superior, the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not have to recuse himself for intervening in this firing event because whatever happened, had absolutely no connection to the FBI’s inquiry into Russia’s shenanigans regarding US politics.
Until sometime on 5/11/17, the White House’s talking points were delivered along the lines, that the president was forced to act in response to a critical memo about the FBI Director Comey, penned by the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (2 weeks on the job) and the recommendation to fire the FBI director by the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
As this story-line kept being challenged on several fronts, by the early evening of 5/11/17, the president’s narrative adapted to a tale resembling the truth. The president has admitted that he wanted to speed up the FBI investigations into Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential elections along with a review of any possible coordination between the president, his associates and Russian operatives, with the intent to influence the outcome.
Since the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions had publicly committed to recuse himself from any activities having anything to do with the DOJ’s and the FBI’s inquiries into the Trump/ Russian saga, what was he doing being a party in the decision making with the president to dismiss the FBI director? And what is the US Attorney General Sessions doing in interviewing those who could possibly replace Director Comey, as this new hire would be expected to continue the investigation of the Trump/ Russia saga?
The Attorney General Jeff Sessions was supposed to recuse himself from anything having to do with the FBI/ DOJ’s probe into Russia’s intervening in US politics. Mr. Sessions took this stance after it had been made public that he did not come clean about his meetings with Russian officials while he was a part of the president’s campaign team when he was under oath during the US Senate confirmation hearings. His statements issued during this time frame had to be amended to reflect the truth.
An Ethics Watchdog group is asking the same questions. Here is the rest of the story…
On 5/12/17, Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post penned the following report, “Watchdog group alleges Sessions violated recusal rule in firing of Comey:”
An ethics watchdog group filed a complaint against Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday alleging that his participation in the firing of FBI Director James b. Comey violated Justice Department rules and Sessions’s promise to recuse himself from matters involving Russia.
“Firing the lead investigator is the most extreme form of interfering with an investigation,” wrote Fred Wertheimer, who signed the six-page complaint on behalf of his organization, Democracy 21.
“The filing asked the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate the matter and issue a public report — and to take additional action.
“Immediately, we call on OPR to take all necessary steps to ensure that the Attorney General withdraws from any participation in the selection of an interim or permanent Director of the FBI,” the complaint said.
“When President Trump fired Comey on Tuesday (5/9/17), he announced that he had consulted with Sessions and the department’s No. 2 official, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.”
“Wertheimer, who has worked on ethics issues since the Watergate scandal, said the attorney general’s participation in the Comey firing violated Justice Department rules requiring staffers to recuse themselves from any criminal inquiry in which they have a “personal or political relationship.”
“He pointed out that Sessions is a potential subject of a Russia inquiry since he met with the Russian ambassador in 2016. In addition, the complaint notes that during his Senate confirmation hearings Sessions agreed to recuse himself from “any investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails.”
“The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment on the complaint Friday. Filing such a grievance with the Office of Professional Responsibility does not guarantee that the department will respond. In late February, Democracy 21 filed a complaint stating that the attorney general was failing to meet department recusal standards by not announcing he would not participate in campaign-related inquiries.”
“Two days after that Feb. 27 filing, the attorney general issued a statement announcing that he would recuse himself from “any matters arising from the campaign for President of the United States. “
“Until his dismissal this week, Comey oversaw the FBI inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there was any coordination between Russian actors and the Trump campaign or associates.”
“Separately, Democracy 21 sent a letter to Rosenstein urging him “to appoint a Special Counsel to oversee the Russia investigation” and to take steps to ensure that Sessions plays no role in selecting Comey’s successors.”