Washington—The Department of Justice has no unreleased documents or notes on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, according to information made public by a FOIA lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
According to the DOJ, the only two records ever created regarding his recusal were a press release and a short email to top DOJ officials that was made public in June. Documents obtained by CREW in the lawsuit also show that Sessions announced his recusal about an hour before he was scheduled to meet with his staff to discuss the recusal.
“For such a major decision, it’s a little odd that there’s virtually no paper trail,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “This suggests the whole process was haphazardly done, and it provides the Department with very little guidance on the scope of the recusal.”
Assuming the DOJ is correct that there were no records beyond a press release and a short email, that means that no written analysis or detailed explanation accompanied Sessions decision, suggesting he may have made the decision alone in the immediate aftermath of reports of his meeting with Russian officials.
“Whatever the explanation, the story behind the Sessions recusal is noteworthy,” said Bookbinder, a veteran of the Justice Department. “This is not how the Department of Justice normally does business.”