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Freedom Caucus lawmakers: Time for Sessions to go — 'now'

Conservative Review

Two top House Freedom Caucus members are calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step aside "now."

Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., writing in an op-ed for the Washington Times, say that Sessions' recusal from the Russia investigation and his apparent lack of control over "improper behavior" in the FBI  show the need for a new attorney general. They complain that Sessions has failed to act while FBI officials stonewall questions about the investigation raised in Congress and meanwhile improperly leak information to the media.

Noting that "there is no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians," Meadows and Jordan blasted the "manufactured hysteria" surrounding the investigation and faulted Sessions for allowing the press to get the latest updates from anonymous sources within the DOJ while congressional questions have been stonewalled.

The lawmakers brought up a recent story published by the New York Times. Citing anonymous intelligence officials, the story reported that the FBI's initial counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign began after a Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos, drunkenly bragged to Australian diplomats about Russia having political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Jordan and Meadows say the New York Times report raises several questions that highlight "critical problems" with the story, including why the FBI neglected to interview Papadopoulos until January 2017 if he was "central to the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign" and why the FBI sought a FISA court warrant on Carter Page in the summer of 2016 but not on Papadopoulos. They also demanded to know why Sessions has failed to stop these leaks.

"The alarming number of FBI agents and DOJ officials sharing information with reporters is in clear violation of the investigative standards that Americans expect and should demand," they argue.

"How would New York Times reporters know any of this information when the FBI and DOJ are prohibited from talking about ongoing investigations? How many FBI agents and DOJ officials have illegally discussed aspects of an ongoing investigation with reporters? When will it stop?"

"It is time for Sessions to start managing in a spirit of transparency to bring all of this improper behavior to light and stop further violations," the lawmakers conclude. "If Sessions can't address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general?"

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