Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation to avoid the appearance of an impropriety because he had had two brief encounters in passing with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
And that recusal to avoid the appearance of conflict set the stage for the bad situation that exists now – an investigation that is mired in conflict and bias, far more than anything that Sessions bumping into the ambassador would have caused.
On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified before the House Judiciary Committee.
The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte called him to question him about the conflicts and bias of the investigation and the Mueller staff.
In what was definitely an epic six minutes, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) aggressively questioned Rosenstein.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 13, 2017
From Daily Caller:
During the House Judiciary hearing, Gowdy noted that the entire purpose of appointing a special counsel is to get rid of conflicts of interest. However, there seem to be numerous conflicts of interest on Robert Mueller’s team.
“The reason we have special counsel is because of a conflict of interest,” he said. “We don’t like conflicts of interest because it undermines people’s confidence in both the process and the result.”
“And then, lo and behold, those that are supposed to make sure there are no conflicts of interest seem to have a bit of their own,” Gowdy declared.
Gowdy outlined some of the various conflicts including one prosecutor who sent an email praising former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for defying President Donald Trump’s travel ban, the same prosecutor who attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party and DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s secret meetings with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, and the further connection of Ohr’s wife who was hired by Fusion to investigate Trump.
Then Gowdy went into the Trump-hating texts of FBI agent Peter Strzok and his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page. Their texts included a suggestion that ‘they couldn’t take the risk’ of having Trump elected when they were on the Russia investigation team in August of last year.
“This ‘conflict of interest-free’ senior agent of the FBI can’t think of a single solitary American who would vote for Donald Trump,” Gowdy said.
“These are the people who we were told we needed for a ‘conflict of interest-free’ investigation?” Gowdy asked.
Ironically, this past week, the FBI cleared Jeff Sessions of any impropriety over his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
From Washington Examiner:
While the FBI official didn’t recall any prior discussions, the email said Sessions did the right thing.
“For the purposes of the SF-86, he was not required to list foreign government contacts while on official government business unless he developed personal relationships from such contacts,” said the FBI official in the email.
Sessions has never said the talks were more than in his capacity as a senator from Alabama and that he was not pals with the Russian ambassador.
But because Sessions was overly scrupulous as a prosecutor, it left us with an investigation which is anything but.
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]