By Duncan Smith
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has finally broken his long silence over why he decided to recuse himself from the investigation into allegations of “collusion” between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, which turned out to be an Obama administration-generated hoax.
In a public statement, Sessions, who is running for his old U.S. Senate seat against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), said he wasn’t aware of the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign when he accepted the offer to become attorney general.
He also said he pushed to fire then-FBI Director James Comey during the earliest days of the Trump administration.
“As the world knows, the President disagreed with me on recusal, but I did what the law required me to do. I was a central figure in the campaign and was also a subject of and witness in the investigation and could obviously not legally be involved in investigating myself,” Sessions wrote. “If I had ignored and broken the law, the Democrats would have used that to severely damage the President.”
The former AG recused himself March 2, 2017, a little more than two weeks before Comey would formally confirm the FBI was investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow — information that was not shared with then-GOP nominee Donald Trump or then-U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Sessions said he offered to resign from his job the morning after the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, which Comey admitted he orchestrated.
James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a Special Council? Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act? Really, does everybody know what that means?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2018
“But President Trump chose not to accept it, and he asked me to continue to serve as his Attorney General and to help him ‘Make America Great Again,’” Sessions wrote.
Trump has on many occasions publicly criticized Sessions for the decision to recuse. Due to the recusal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein oversaw the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
In March, Trump endorsed Sessions’ primary opponent in the July 14 GOP run-off race, Tommy Tuberville.
Nevertheless, Sessions says he still supports the president and his agenda.
“I believe President Trump is a great President who is steadily making progress for America, despite relentless opposition. My support for his agenda is not about me, or even about him. It’s about doing the right thing for the country I so love,” Sessions wrote.