CREW received a response from the Department of Justice which included some of the requested records. Read the response here. 

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CREW requests:

  1. Copies of all records containing or reflecting advice and/or recommendations given to Attorney General Jeff Sessions by his staff regarding whether or not he should recuse himself in any matters involving the 2016 presidential campaign;
  2. Copies of all calendars for Attorney General Sessions for the period February 27, 2017, through March 3, 2017;
  3. Copies of all documents effectuating the attorney general’s recusal within the Department of Justice;
  4. CREW welcomes the opportunity to discuss with you whether and to what extent this request can be narrowed or modified to better enable your office to process it within the FOIA’s deadlines.

As has been widely reported, during his confirmation hearing Attorney General Sessions denied having contacts with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign. Last week it was revealed that, in fact, the attorney general has two separate contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, including the Republican National Convention. Less than 24 hours after these revelations, Attorney General Session announced he was recusing himself “‘from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States.'”

The requested records are likely to contribute to public understanding of the true motivation behind Attorney General Session’s recusal decision, the extent to which it was guided by advice from his staff,  and the extent to which it was influenced by the public revelation he had not testified fully and truthfully before congress during his confirmation hearing.

On April 4, 2017, CREW filed a lawsuit against the DOJ challenging the refusal to disclose to CREW records related to the recusal of Jeff Sessions from any matters involving the 2016 presidential campaigns. Read about our lawsuit here.

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