- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will not recuse himself from the investigation into President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, according to a media report Tuesday.

However, Mr. Sessions may step back from specific questions tied to the probe, Bloomberg reported.

Mr. Sessions will access briefings on the status of the Cohen investigation and voice his opinion on decisions made by prosecutors, including whether to issue subpoenas or indictments, according to the report.

That could put Mr. Sessions in a position where he might be asked about the Cohen probe by Mr. Trump, Bloomberg reported.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the Bloomberg report.

“The attorney general considers his potential recusal on a matter-by-matter basis as may be needed,” the Justice Department said in a statement released to Bloomberg. “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.”

Mr. Sessions recused himself last year from the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The recusal of Mr. Sessions from the Russia investigation has left Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the number two official at the Justice Department, responsible for coordinating the Russia probe. He is also in charge of reviewing the Russia and Cohen probes for any conflicts. Mr. Rosenstein signed the search warrant authorizing the raid on Mr. Cohen’s office, hotel and home.

The president has repeatedly complained about Mr. Sessions’ decision, calling it “very unfair” and saying he would have picked someone else for attorney general had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself.

Last month, Mr. Sessions defended his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

“I think that’s what I had to do,” he said last month while taking questions at the Federalist Society gathering. “There is a specific regulation that says if you participate in a campaign — it explicitly says that — you cannot investigate the campaign of which you were a part. Pretty reasonable, I think.”

The FBI seized from Mr. Cohen emails, tax documents and records related to his $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, better known by her adult-film moniker, Stormy Daniels.

Ms. Clifford has said she received the payment just before the 2016 election to prevent damaging information about Mr. Trump to be leaked to the media.

Mr. Cohen appeared in a New York courtroom last week as his defense attorneys sparred with prosecutors over which documents seized in the raids should be protected by attorney-client privilege. A federal judge said she will consider appointing a neutral third party to decide which documents fall under that protection.

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