Indiana Daily Student

ICYMI: Attorney General recuses himself from Russia investigation

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) answers questions as he testifies during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Attorney General of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Sipa USA/TNS)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) answers questions as he testifies during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be Attorney General of the United States, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (Ron Sachs/CNP/Sipa USA/TNS)

Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has been confirmed as the housing and urban development secretary, and the Washington Post reported Attorney General Jeff Sessions met twice with a Russian ambassador. Democratic leaders have called for Sessions’ resignation. Here’s a rundown of what happened and why it matters.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions comes under fire for undisclosed meetings with Russian ambassadors

CNN reported that Sessions met with the top Russian diplomat in Washington twice last year. This diplomat was the same one who interacted with former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which ultimately led to Flynn’s firing, according to CNN.

When Sessions was asked during his Senate confirmation hearing if he was aware of any communication between Trump surrogates and the Russians, Sessions did not mention either of the meetings.

This revelation has led Democratic leaders, including Senate minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and House minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to call for Sessions’ resignation.

“After lying under oath to Congress about his own communications with the Russians, the Attorney General must resign,” Pelosi wrote in a statement. “The must be an independent, bipartisan, outside commission to investigate the Trump political, personal, and financial connections to the Russians.”

However, Sessions has refuted the reports and said he never discussed campaign-related issues with anyone from Russia.

“I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign,” he said in a statement. “I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”

The New York Times reported Thursday afternoon that Sessions had recused himself from any current or future investigations into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election. Sessions made the decision after a meeting with senior Justice Department officials.

Ben Carson confirmed at secretary of housing and urban development

The Senate confirmed former republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as the secretary of housing and urban development Thursday.

Carson was confirmed in a 58-41 vote.

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