Chairman Crowley Leads Letter Urging Attorney General Sessions to Recuse Himself from Investigations into Trump Administration’s Ties to Russia

February 17, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) announced today that he, along with more than 50 House Democrats, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging him to recuse himself from investigations into Russia’s influence over President Donald Trump and the Trump administration.

“We are deeply concerned by allegations that former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn and individuals employed by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign engaged in improper contact with Russian government and intelligence officials prior to the election and/or during the transition,” write the lawmakers. “A thorough investigation is needed into these potential security violations and the effects of foreign influence. However, given your role as a leading advisor to the Trump campaign who worked with many of those now possibly under investigation, we urge you to recuse yourself from this matter.”

The letter continues: “Anyone serving as attorney general has broad discretion over the scope and conduct of investigations as well as final say over whether to bring federal charges against individuals. However, you have worked alongside many of those who are or will be investigated…The revelations of the past few days regarding contact between high-level Trump Administration officials and Russian intelligence operatives have been a blow to public confidence in our institutions and to the integrity of our national security. These allegations must be met with a thorough, complete and impartial examination. Given your relationships with those who will be under investigation, we urge you to recuse yourself going forward.”

The revelations that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with the Russian government before President Trump was inaugurated has raised serious concerns about the nature of President Trump’s relationship with Moscow. House Democrats have repeatedly called for an independent investigation into this national security concern. Attorney General Sessions was an early and eager supporter and advisor of President Trump’s during the 2016 campaign – a position he held alongside Lt. General Flynn – which creates a clear ethical conflict for Sessions if he was to lead an investigation into Russia’s influence over the Trump administration.

A copy of the letter can be found here.