Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, said Friday that reports that President Trump tried to order Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia Investigation is proof the Administration tried “to obstruct justice.”
“The allegations in the Times piece, if accurate, provide further potential evidence that the White House was engaged in an effort to obstruct justice,” Schiff said in an interview with the Washington Post.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Trump ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to stop Sessions’ recusal from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
When McHahn was not able to stop Sessions, Trump was upset and told White House officials he needed Sessions to protect him.
Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said that if the report is accurate Sessions could have been “trying to set up some predicate for firing [Comey] without disclosing what the true reason was.”
“If this was part of an effort to conceal the real motive for firing Comey, that’s very pertinent to obstruction of justice,” Schiff added.
JThe California Democrat added that the Report is further evidence that Sessions should appear in front of the House Intelligence Committee for further questioning.
“It’s going to be important for us to get to the bottom of whether the … attorney general’s office was seeking to engage in a smear campaign against the director of the FBI to create a pretext for his firing,” Schiff told the post.
Sessions recusal from the investigation opened the door for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Special Counsel Robert Mueller to head the Russia investigation.