Colorado’s Gardner splits with Bennet, DeGette and Coffman on Sessions’ fate
New details about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ contact with a Russian ambassador escalates the issue
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner remains unconvinced that Attorney General Jeff Sessions needs to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, despite new details and mounting pressure for Sessions to step aside.
Gardner told NPR in an interview Thursday morning that he needs more information about Sessions’ conversations with a Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign, when the former Alabama senator served as a top supporter for Donald Trump.
“I think we need to understand exactly what role, if any, he will have in the investigation,” said Gardner, a Yuma Republican. “I have full confidence in the FBI carrying out … a full and independent investigation.”
The remarks echo what Gardner said a day earlier in a virtual town hall with 10,000 people. But the new details pushed some of his GOP colleagues in Washington to join Democrats in a call for Sessions to remove himself from the Justice Department investigation.
Early Thursday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, suggested Sessions should recuse himself.
The issue is even splitting Republicans in Colorado’s delegation. U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, said Sessions “made a grave omission” by not disclosing his meetings during his confirmation hearings.
He said it “would be more than prudent for him to recuse himself from any Russian inquiry, and I would encourage him to fully disclose any and all foreign contacts he had during the course of the campaign.”
Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet issued a statement shortly after Gardner’s interview aired that called on Sessions to recuse himself and appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate Russia’s actions.
Read the full story in The Denver Post.
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