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

Former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreetinder (Preet) Singh BhararaPreet Bharara weighs in on report of Cohen wiretap Daily Beast to 'hit pause' on Joy Reid columns; MSNBC host backs off speaking event Bharara: We owe Mueller 'incalculable thanks' MORE said Friday that if a recent report in The New York Times that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWyden presses FBI for information on inflated encryption figures ‘Whatever’ isn’t an option for immigrant children Comey blasts Trump's FBI claims: 'How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?' MORE sought negative press coverage of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump to appear Thursday morning on 'Fox & Friends' Trump demands 'total transparency' from Rosenstein, FBI on Russia documents 8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump's campaign 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 TrumpCEO of American investment firm believed Michael Cohen could bring in GOP donors for deals: report NAACP slams NFL for gag rule on national anthem Pelosi: Republican meeting over informant will 'nix' possibility of bipartisan briefing 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