(National Sentinel) Duped: Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the wrong law when he recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation of alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.
That’s according to Fox News legal analyst and attorney Gregg Jarrett, who told the network’s “Hannity” program Tuesday night that Sessions’ recusal was a “betrayal” of President Donald J. Trump.
“He betrayed the president. He knew when he was sworn in that he was going to recuse himself and the very next day he put the recusal in motion,” Jarrett said.
“He never told the president about that. And by the way, he cited the regulation in his recusal… He cited the wrong law. It didn’t apply,” he added.
Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March 2017, shortly after he was confirmed by the Senate.
Investigative journalist Sara A. Carter, who was also appearing on the program, said she thought Sessions was being given bad advice at the time.
“Yeah, by Obama’s holdovers,” Jarrett responded. “Who in the world would believe them?”
As reported by Business Insider, the DOJ regulation Sessions cited — 28 CFR 45.2— says “no DOJ employee may participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome.”
A political relationship is defined as “a close identification with an elected official, candidate, political party or campaign organization arising from service as a principal advisor or official.” A personal relationship “means a close and substantial connection of the type normally viewed as likely to induce partiality.”
But the statute notes “criminal investigation or prosecution,” and as the National Review‘s Andrew McCarthy has written, “The regulation he cited applies to a different type of investigation.”
“The probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign is not a criminal investigation or prosecution,” the former federal national security prosecutor wrote. “Moreover, when the reg speaks of the ‘subject of the investigation or prosecution,’ it is using ‘subject’ as a criminal-law term of art.
“A ‘subject’ is a person or entity whose actions are being examined by a grand jury with an eye toward a possible indictment. There are no ‘subjects’ in that sense in a counterintelligence investigation because the objective is not to build a criminal case and there is no grand jury,” McCarthy noted further.
Trump has criticized Sessions’ recusal, saying if he knew the former U.S. senator from Alabama would do so, he would not have nominated him.
Earlier this week, the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority said in an as-yet-unreleased report that the panel has found no evidence of collusion after a 14-month probe and has thus ended that phase of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
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