- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2017

Capitol Hill’s two leading Democrats called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself this week from any probes involving President Trump’s administration and its possible ties to the Russia government

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said Wednesday that Mr. Sessions should be prohibited from overseeing any Justice Department investigations concerning the current White House and the Kremlin as reports emerge surrounding conversations said to have occurred between Moscow and Mr. Trump’s aides prior to the president’s swearing-in last month.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, a day earlier said Mr. Sessions mustn’t be involved in any such probes on account of having been a long time supporter of Mr. Trump in addition to being one his first appointees upon being elected president.

“What I am calling for is an independent investigation” concerning the Trump administration’s possible ties to Russia, Mr. Schumer told CNN on Tuesday.

“Are there people in the Justice Department, career people, who could do an independent investigation? Yes, there are. Could there be people appointed as an independent counsel to do an independent investigation? Yes, there could. I am not specifying what there should be. I believe that Attorney General Sessions has no choice but to recuse himself, and then he should and must put an independent investigative authority in charge,” Mr. Schumer said.

Mrs. Pelosi similarly called for the attorney general’s recusal when asked Wednesday, The Hill reported.

“I completely agree with him in that regard,” Mrs. Pelosi said of her Senate counterpart.

The White House has faced renewed scrutiny over its potential ties to Moscow after former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn admitted to communicating with a Russian ambassador before Mr. Trump took office and subsequently tendered his resignation this week.

Along with Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Mrs. Pelosi sent a letter to the acting director of national intelligence on Thursday demanding lawmakers be briefed on Mr. Flynn’s contacts with Moscow and be given unredacted transcripts of any conversations he had with Russian officials.

Mrs. Pelosi said she was fearful her request will be either ignored or rejected by the Trump administration, The Hill reported.

“I’m afraid they’re going to destroy the documents,” Mrs. Pelosi said, according to The Hill. “The fact that I would even say that [indicates that] the level of trust has gone so far low in all of this.”

“That’s too bad,” she added, “because we’re talking about the national security of our country.”

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