Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday he will recuse himself from federal investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
“I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign,” he said at a press conference.
Sessions had come under mounting bipartisan pressure to recuse himself after it was revealed late Wednesday that he spoke twice with the Russian envoy last year and failed to tell senators during his confirmation hearing.
Key Republicans, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and former Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) as well as three GOP senators, called on Sessions to step aside.
And huge amounts of Democrats also called for his recusal, with many — led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) — calling for him to resign from the Justice Department completely.
Trump earlier Thursday expressed “total” confidence in Sessions, dismissing calls for him to recuse himself.
At least eight House Republicans who are Democratic targets in 2018 joined calls for Sessions to recuse himself.
GOP Reps. Brian Mast (Fla.), Mike Coffman (Colo.), Martha McSally (Ariz.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Ryan Costello (Pa.), Barbara Comstock (Va.) Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), who all called for Sessions’s recusal, have all been named as 2018 targets by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.