AG defends his decision to recuse himself

Hell has this habit of freezing over, enabling me to say something positive about one of Donald Trump’s key Cabinet officers.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fielded a direct question the other day that required him to provide a direct answer. He answered it correctly, to his great credit.

The questioner asked him whether he regretted recusing himself from the investigation into whether the Trump 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russians who meddled in our electoral  process.

Sessions was unequivocal in his answer. Sessions had to pull out of the investigation, he said, because of his key role in the Trump presidential campaign and then the transition into the Trump presidency.

There could be no way for the AG to conduct an impartial investigation into alleged collusion with the Russians, Sessions said, because he was far too close to the situation. He would be investigating potentially himself.

So, he withdrew from the Russia probe. He handed the matter over to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who then selected Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel in this ongoing probe.

I have praised Sessions’s decision from the get-go. It demonstrated an understanding of the ethics of the law and the AG’s appreciation of the appearance of conflict of interest.

The AG’s decision, not surprisingly, has angered the president, who has said that had he known Sessions would back out of the “Russia thing,” he would have nominated someone else to the post. Trump and Sessions, by many accounts, have at best a frosty relationship to this day.

The way I see it, it’s because Sessions made the correct decision to back away from an investigation that is being handled by one of the most meticulous lawyers anyone can find.

As much as I disapprove of Sessions as attorney general in the first place, I merely think it’s appropriate to offer a good word when he makes the right decision and then stands foursquare behind it.

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