Sessions Is Back: Issues Huge Announcement on Trump-Cohen Investigation
The Justice Department’s Southern District of New York and the FBI — acting on a referral from the Robert Mueller Special Counsel investigation — recently raided and seized documents from an office, home and hotel room associated with President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Bloomberg just reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided not to recuse himself from that particular investigation, though he reportedly did leave open the option of stepping back in regard to certain aspects of that investigation, if warranted in the future.
In the eyes of the liberal media, that non-recusal stands in stark contrast to Sessions’ prior recusal from the Mueller-led Russian collusion investigation and other matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Asked about the non-recusal by Bloomberg, the DOJ released a statement that read: “The attorney general considers his potential recusal on a matter-by-matter basis as may be needed. To the extent a matter comes to the attention of his office that may warrant consideration of recusal, the attorney general would review the issue and consult with the appropriate Department ethics experts.”
Bloomberg fretted that Sessions’ involvement with the Cohen investigation would allow him to be briefed on its progress, which in turn could allow him to divulge such information to Trump if requested.
Furthermore, Sessions’ involvement would also permit him to play a decision-making role in the investigation, particularly in regard to if subpoenas or indictments are issued in the matter.
CNBC noted that the non-recusal by Sessions also stood in contrast to how SDNY lead attorney Geoffrey Berman had recused himself from the Cohen investigation and handed it off to his deputy, Robert Khuzami. Berman had been personally interviewed for the position by Trump and was appointed by Sessions.
In seeking confirmation of the decision by Sessions to not recuse himself, CNBC received this response from a DOJ spokeswoman: “We don’t confirm or deny recusals — as the AG said in his testimony in November. To do so could be used as a way to confirm the existence or scope of an ongoing criminal investigation, which we have a policy of not doing as you can read in the United States Attorney Manual.”
Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped the liberal media from speculating on their own about the “existence or scope of an ongoing criminal investigation” as it pertains to Michael Cohen.
The Hill surmised that the raid on Cohen’s office, home and hotel room was related to an alleged payoff he gave to former porn star Stormy Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — in order to purchase her silence in regard to an alleged consensual affair she had with then-businessman Trump a dozen years ago.
It is thought by some in the liberal media that such a payoff could implicate Trump in some sort of campaign finance violation, and is the latest saga in their perpetually evolving “We’ve got him now!” mantra.
Pushing that narrative even further, there has been speculation that Trump could eventually issue a pardon for Cohen, a potentiality the White House hasn’t totally ruled out but which was also called a “stupid question” by Trump himself when asked if he would consider pardoning his former attorney.
In the end, RedState noted that this move by Sessions — even if correct and to be applauded — has poured fuel on the anti-Trump left’s conspiracy theories regarding Trump being the real focus of the investigation and his administration’s efforts to cover up or obstruct that “truth” from emerging.
A much more likely reason for Sessions’ non-recusal from the Cohen investigation is that it doesn’t have any real links to Mueller’s Russia investigation or the 2016 presidential campaign, in which case Sessions would probably have recused himself, which in turn would have implied that Trump was under investigation as well.
Of course, it is also plausible that Sessions decided not to recuse himself simply because he didn’t want to become the target of accusatory tweets from the president, as has occurred in response to his prior recusal from matters involving Russia and the campaign.
Regardless, Sessions is doing the job that he was appointed and confirmed to do, and unless there are clear indications of a conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety, there is no reason whatsoever for the attorney general to recuse himself from this particular investigation.
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