Sessions will not recuse himself from Cohen probe

Frederick Owens
April 25, 2018

Since then, under White House pressure, Sessions has appeared to walk back his recusal.

But Senator Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, took the opposite tack in advance of Sessions's testimony before one of the panel's subcommittees on Wednesday.

The newspaper recently published an article about the Michael Cohen investigation and how he may turn on Trump while on trial.

Donald Trump has dismissed a query about whether he is considering pardoning his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, as "a stupid question".

Earlier this month, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided Cohen's Manhattan office, home and hotel room, seizing records about Cohen's clients and personal finances - including documents related to money Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels to remain silent about an alleged decade-old affair with Trump.

However, Sessions has decided that he will not recuse himself from the case, according to a Bloomberg report Tuesday.

Michael Cohen arrives at Federal Court in NY on April 16. The FBI raided Cohen's office and hotel room in NY earlier this month, seizing boxes of documents and electronic devices.

Mr. Sessions recused himself a year ago from the Justice Department's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The source close to Cohen told Vanity Fair that although the president and his personal attorney aren't now speaking, communication has happened nonetheless - and that although they don't indicate a potential pardon per se, the concept isn't far off.

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Longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

That "raises the possibility" that Cohen broke campaign finance laws, according to Leahy.

By staying involved in the Cohen probe, Sessions is entitled to briefings on the status of the investigation, which is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of NY.

The FBI is also involved in the investigation, and there's a grand jury that can make independent decisions - all of which help insulate the probe from any political interference, Twardy said.

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

"The Attorney General owes the Senate, and the country, an explanation", he said.

Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney in the Southern District of NY, has recused himself from the Cohen probe, according to a USA official. Trump has gone to court to try to deny investigators access to his communications with Cohen.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on a similar question posed to her on Monday, saying, "I don't think that we are going to talk about hypotheticals that don't exist right now".

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