Tags: jeff sessions | attorney general | recusal | impeachment | rosenstein

Rosenstein Impeachment Flap Shows AG Sessions Should Be Un-Recused

Rosenstein Impeachment Flap Shows AG Sessions Should Be Un-Recused
Attorney General Jeff Sessions looks on during a cabinet meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 18, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

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Thursday, 26 July 2018 12:49 PM Current | Bio | Archive

According to a front page story in today’s Washington Times, “Conservative House lawmakers introduced articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying he has led the Justice Department in ‘hiding’ information from Congress on investigations into Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton’s secret e-mails.”

The articles of impeachment introduced yesterday are posted here.

The same Washington Times article reports that Rep. Mark Meadows, House Freedom Caucus Chairman, explained, “It’s time to find a new Deputy Attorney General who is serious about accountability and transparency,” and that another House Republican leader, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, told reporters yesterday after a closed door meeting with top Justice Department officials, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Meadows, and Rep. Jim Jordan, “that impeachment wouldn’t be the best response because that ‘is punishment, it’s not a remedy’ that would enable his colleagues to get documents.”

Why isn’t one obvious remedy for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself so that he can effectively supervise all of his subordinates within the Department of Justice? After all, the ostensible foundation for Attorney General Sessions’ March 2017 recusal, the narrative that Russia colluded with the Trump Campaign, over time has effectively been proven baseless.

According to the March 2, 2017, official Justice Department Office of Public Affairs press release:

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions today issued the following statement:

“During the course of the confirmation proceedings on my nomination to be Attorney General, I advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘[i]f a specific matter arose where I believed my impartiality might reasonably be questioned, I would consult with Department ethics officials regarding the most appropriate way to proceed.’

“During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senior career Department officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself from any matters arising from the campaigns for President of the United States.

“Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.”

Congress should demand to know, by name, the “relevant senior career Department officials” with whom Attorney General Sessions consulted before deciding to recuse himself in March 2017, and by name which Justice Department official or officials drafted the Attorney General’s March 2, 2017, recusal statement. Most importantly, Congress should demand to know whether or not those Justice Department officials still believe there is a basis for Attorney General Sessions to continue recusing himself “from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.”

In the meantime, Attorney General Sessions should ask the same “relevant senior career Department officials” this question: “At what point is it appropriate for the Attorney General to be un-recused?” Attorney General should then announce the answer publicly, the same way the Justice Department Office of Public Affairs announced the Attorney General’s March 2, 2017, recusal, so that “We the People” understand better how our government is spending our money.

How transparent would that be?

Joseph E. Schmitz served as a foreign policy and national security advisor to Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. The opinions expressed in this article are his personal opinions. Schmitz served as Inspector General of the Department of Defense from 2002-2005 and is now Chief Legal Officer of Pacem Solutions International. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy, earned his J.D. degree from Stanford Law School, and is author of "The Inspector General Handbook: Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Other Constitutional ‘Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.’" Read more reports from Joseph E. Schmitz — Click Here Now.

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Why isn’t one obvious remedy for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself so that he can effectively supervise all of his subordinates within the Department of Justice?
jeff sessions, attorney general, recusal, impeachment, rosenstein
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2018-49-26
Thursday, 26 July 2018 12:49 PM
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