Senate Dems request DOJ watchdog probe Sessions recusal
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Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinTrump court pick sparks frustration for refusing to answer questions This week: Congress returns for first time since mass shootings GOP senators object to White House delaying home-state projects for border wall MORE (D-Calif.) and Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine On The Money: Trump delays increase in China tariffs until Oct. 15 | Treasury says US deficit topped trillion in 11 months | Defense spending bill advances over Democratic wall objections MORE (D-Vt.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Klobuchar: Investigation into Kavanaugh 'a sham' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Lawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator Democratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' MORE (D-Hawaii) on Friday sent a letter to Michael Horowitz, DOJ's inspector general. 
 
The five Democratic senators want Horowitz to "conduct a thorough investigation" into Session's decision. 
 
"We ask that you consider whether and when the Attorney General consulted with ethics officials or others regarding his involvement in these investigations, his contacts with Russian officials, and his testimony before our Committee during the confirmation process," the senators wrote. 
 
The senators also want him to examine any communications between Sessions and the White House about the recusal or any investigation, as well as if, and to what extent, Sessions was previously involved in the investigations. 
 
"Please recommend appropriate action to address any problems that you discover," they added.
 
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The Washington Post reported on Wednesday night that Sessions spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign but denied any such meetings during his confirmation hearing when he was under oath. 
 
The five Democrats argued that his statements to the Judiciary Committee were "at best ... incomplete and misleading."
 
Sessions announced on Thursday that he would recuse himself from any current or future investigations, but stressed that his decision wasn't an acknowledgment of wrongdoing. He also said that his staff had been reviewing, prior to the Washington Post story, if he should step back from any investigation involving the Trump campaign.
 
But Sessions's decision has done little to abate Democratic criticism. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reiterated after his announcement that she believes he should resign, while Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall Pelosi: 'People are dying' because McConnell won't bring up gun legislation MORE (D-N.Y.) is calling for a special prosecutor. 
 
 
Democrats, who have a minority in both Houses, have limited leverage within Congress either bring Sessions back to testify or force an independent commission. 
 
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest Grassley'Mike Pounce' trends on Twitter after Trump slip at GOP retreat Cruz warns GOP support for expanded background checks could help elect Warren president Lawmakers applaud Trump's ban on flavored e-cigarettes MORE (R-Iowa) said Thursday that he was glad Sessions was sending the committee a letter but didn't signal that he would recall the former GOP senator to testify.

"I appreciate that he will be sending a letter to the committee, as I asked him to do, to clear up any confusion regarding his testimony so we can put this issue to bed once and for all," Grassley said.