On Thursday morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer held a news conference to call for Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ resignation after less than one month at the job. Schumer was forthright in his proclamation: “Because the Department of Justice should be above reproach, for the good of the country, Attorney General Sessions should resign.”
In doing so, Schumer has officially added his voice to the growing chorus of Democrats (and the sporadic Republican) who believe that Sessions’ talks with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak may have implications far beyond the AG’s own explanation. Sessions has insisted that his talks were in line with his Armed Services Committee duties, but that claim remains in dispute. In addition, he may have lied under oath during his confirmation hearing, which is why a newly resurfaced video of Sessions lecturing Bill Clinton on perjury is gaining viral traction.
What the issue also boils down to, essentially, is that Sessions is currently in charge of overseeing the investigation into Russia-Trump ties. However, he’s become a subject of this very investigation, which means that he should probably — at minimum — recuse himself from the matter.
That’s what any judge would be required to do on a state or district court level, and the magnitude of this case (involving the White House) is so much greater that it’s difficult to see why Sessions should have overseen the matter to begin with. After all, Sessions advised Trump on foreign policy during his campaign, and he acted as a surrogate, too. His contact with the Russian ambassador took place while election hacking was well underway. Overall, the act of Sessions disqualifying himself from the investigation likely should have been a given (if for no other reason than to avoid the appearance of impropriety). However, he has resisted, and now, Congressional Democrats would like him to fully resign. Schumer is leading that charge.
The situation will no doubt continue to develop over the next few days. The Trump administration is already steamed about how the FBI wouldn’t bury Russia stories that cast an unfavorable light on the White House. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned a few weeks ago over his calls with the Russian ambassador (he discussed sanctions and lied to both VP Mike Pence and the FBI). Soon, Sessions may soon be on his way out, too.