Jeff Sessions Won't Recuse Himself From Michael Cohen Case

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions will approach recusal on a "matter-by-matter basis" but not step back entirely.

According to Bloomberg News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will not recuse himself from the investigation of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, though Sessions might consider withdrawing from certain aspects of the probe.

Sessions previously recused himself from the Russia investigation currently led by special counsel Robert Mueller regarding foreign interference in the 2016 election -- a move that infuriated the president and led him to publicly disparage his attorney general on multiple occasions..

By staying involved in the Cohen probe, Sessions is entitled to briefings on the status of the investigation, which is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York. That could put Sessions in the position of being asked by Trump, who strongly condemned the FBI raid on his longtime lawyer, to divulge information about the Cohen investigation.

Sessions could also weigh in on specific decisions by prosecutors, including whether to pursue subpoenas and indictments. The attorney general may be asked about his role in the Cohen investigation when he testifies before congressional panels on Wednesday and Thursday.

But there are other measures in place to protect the integrity of the investigation, said former U.S. attorney for Connecticut Stanley Twardy.

For example, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is fiercely independent and comprised of career prosecutors Trump can’t fire. The Cohen probe is being overseen by Robert Khuzami, Berman’s deputy and a former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement director.

The FBI is also involved in the investigation, and there’s a grand jury that can make independent decisions -- all of which help insulate the probe from any political interference, Twardy said.