Bharara: If NYT story on Sessions is true, ‘he must go now’

Former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreetinder (Preet) Singh BhararaPossibility of Trump pardoning himself sparks GOP pushback Admission that Trump dictated statement on Trump Tower meeting raises new questions Bharara: Trump allies ‘clearly getting a message’ from pardons MORE said Friday that if a recent report in The New York Times that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Supreme Court nomination reignites abortion fight in states | Trump urges Sessions to sue opioid makers | FDA approves first generic version of EpiPen Connect Beltway to America to get federal criminal justice reform done Dems urge tech companies to remove 3D-gun blueprints MORE sought negative press coverage of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump planning on revoking more security clearances: report Trump escalates feud with intelligence officials Steve Schmidt: Trump revoking Brennan's clearance shows his 'autocratic fetish' MORE is true, he must be ousted from the Justice Department.

"If true-emphasis on IF- Sessions must go. Now," Bharara, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was fired by Trump in March, wrote on Twitter. 

The New York Times reported Thursday night that an aide to Sessions had asked a congressional staffer in May for damaging information about Comey, who was fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE days later. According to that report, Sessions wanted one negative news story each day about the then-FBI chief. 

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Sarah Isgur Flores, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, denied the account described in the Times report.

“This did not happen and would not happen,” she told the Times. “Plain and simple.”

Before his ouster, Comey was leading the law enforcement investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Sessions recused himself from overseeing that investigation in March, after The Washington Post reported that he had failed to disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during Trump's 2016 campaign.

According to the report, Trump sent a lawyer to lobby Sessions not to recuse himself from the probe, and was furious after he did. 

- This report was updated at 1:26 p.m. EST