Attorney General Jeff Sessions is not backing down this time.
On Tuesday, he decided against recusing himself from an investigation into President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and will reportedly only consider stepping back from specific questions related to the probe.
The decision, reported by Bloomberg News, contrasts with his decision to recuse himself from the FBI’s probe into Russian meddling and any potential collusion — which later became the special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller.
Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe left Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge, and angered the president, who has said if he knew in advance Sessions would do that, he would have picked someone else.
However, by not recusing himself from the Cohen probe, he is now entitled to attend briefings on the status of the investigation being conducted by the Southern District of New York.
Sessions could also reportedly weigh in on specific decisions by prosecutors, including whether to pursue subpoenas and indictments.
The Justice Department told Bloomberg in a statement that Sessions will make decisions on recusing himself from certain parts of the Cohen probe on a “matter-by-matter” basis.
“To the extent a matter comes to the attention of his office that may warrant consideration of recusal, the attorney general would review the issue and consult with the appropriate Department ethics experts,” it said.
Rosenstein, who is in charge of the Mueller probe, will coordinate and resolve conflicts between the Mueller probe and the Cohen probe.
Rosenstein signed off on the investigation into Cohen, after Mueller made a referral. Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room were raided, earlier this month, for information reportedly related to his payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels and other matters.
Amid speculation that Trump would fire Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general reportedly reassured him that he was not the target of the Russia probe or the Cohen probe.