WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump tried to convince Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind his recusal from DoJ’s probe into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials, The New York Times reported Tuesday evening.
The Times reported that several days after Sessions’ recusal in early March 2017 he traveled to Trump’s Florida home Mar-a-Lago to have dinner with the president. The Times reported that Trump aggressively made the request during the dinner and that Sessions refused. Special Counsel Robert S. Muller III is investigating the matter, according to the Times.
Sessions recused himself following reports that he had twice met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential campaign. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein assumed responsibility for overseeing the probe following Sessions recusal. Rosenstein appointed Mueller two months later.
Trump has made statements that critics say are designed to undermine Sessions. The president has called Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt.” Trump routinely casts doubt on Mueller’s ability to conduct the investigation in an impartial manner.
Republicans have said that the FBI and DoJ have displayed bias against Trump in their investigation. They note that Mueller’s investigative team includes many Democrats and Hillary Clinton loyalists.
Last week, House Republicans proposed legislation to appoint a second special counsel to look into claims of surveillance abuse as well as the decision not to charge Hillary Clinton in the Clinton email probe.