Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) have written an editorial published by the Washington Examiner on Thursday calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to step down, claiming his recusal from any investigation into Russia and its connection to the Trump presidential campaign has crippled his ability to direct the agency effectively.
The lawmakers said that the alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign had “dominated the headlines” for the first year of the Trump administration despite the investigations coming up empty.
Jordan and Meadows, who is Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, wrote:
Let’s be clear: The absence of evidence is not due to a lack of examination There have been some six different investigations spent on the collusion narrative — more than the investigative efforts on former President Barack Obama’s IRS targeting of conservatives, the 30,000 missing Hillary Clinton emails, and Benghazi. And through all of that, there is zero (yes, zero) evidence of collusion.
The final straw, the lawmakers wrote, was the FBI leaks about Trump presidential campaign operative George Papadopoulos, which they said begged the following questions:
Question 1: If George Papadopoulos was central to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, why did the FBI wait more than six months to interview him in late January and again in February? And even if they were trying to keep the probe quiet during the 2016 election, why wait more than two months after Election Day?
Question 2: If Papadopoulos was so critical to the investigation, why did the FBI get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant on Carter Page in the summer of 2016 but not on Papadopoulos, the alleged central player?
Question 3: If Papadopoulos was key to a collusion investigation and evidence existed supporting that claim, why would Bruce Ohr, the former DOJ official married to Fusion GPS’s investigator, meet with Christopher Steele, author of the so-called “Trump dossier” hired by the Clinton campaign, before and after the election?
Question 4: Why would former FBI Director James Comey brief President Obama and President-Elect Trump on the contents of the Russian dossier, but not do the same thing on this campaign staffer’s alleged collusion?
Question 5: Why won’t the FBI answer questions from Congress on this very topic? Why do they continue to refuse transparency on whether they paid Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier? We in Congress have asked them repeatedly to tell us what was in the application they took to the FISA Court to get a warrant for spying on the Trump campaign. Did they use the dossier in their application? This demands an answer.
“Perhaps all of these questions have answers that could help bring this Russian collusion drama to a close,” the lawmakers wrote.
Moreover, they cited the ongoing — and unacceptable — leaks by intelligence officials to reporters at the Times.
Jordan and Meadows concluded that Sessions has lost control.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but it would appear he has no control at all of the premier law enforcement agency in the world. 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. 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?
Sadly, it seems the answer is now.
The Dayton Daily News reported that, in a television interview last month, Jordan accused the FBI and Justice Department of trying to keep Trump from becoming president, and he said the House Judiciary Committee is preparing to subpoena several officials from those agencies.
Jordan and Meadows also wrote in their editorial that the Russia collusion speculation has been a distraction from what President Donald Trump has accomplished during his first year in office: “Sadly, manufactured hysteria on this issue throughout 2017 has frequently masked the substantial accomplishments of President Trump’s administration — some that qualify as historic. The stock market has surged at levels not seen in nearly a decade. The Islamic State has been decimated in the Middle East. Our embassy in Israel is moving to Jerusalem, Israel’s undivided capital. Trump delivered on the largest tax cuts and overhaul to the tax code since the Reagan administration.”