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

Former U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaPreet BhararaWhatever else he did, Cuomo did not obstruct justice by ranting to Obama White House Why Trump (probably) won't be indicted New York Times in discussions to acquire The Athletic: report MORE said Friday that if a recent report in The New York Times that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE sought negative press coverage of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April 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 TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money 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