Top House Intel Dem calls for Sessions to resign amid Russia controversy

Top House Intel Dem calls for Sessions to resign amid Russia controversy
© Greg Nash

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is calling on Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds Five takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Amash: Some of Trump's actions 'were inherently corrupt' MORE to step down amid reports that he twice spoke with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

"After reviewing Attorney General Session's testimony during his confirmation hearing and his statements this afternoon, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the Attorney General should step down,” Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump declassification move unnerves Democrats Trump appeals order siding with House Democrats bank subpoenas MORE (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Thursday.

“As a Senator, Mr. Sessions demanded complete and truthful testimony by those appearing before him for confirmation, and I do not believe he met his own rigorous standard.”

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Schiff previously called on Sessions to recuse himself from the government’s investigations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and ties between President Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Sessions announced Thursday afternoon that he would recuse himself from any current or future probes, amid pressure from lawmakers.

The attorney general reportedly spoke twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential race, during which he was a senator from Alabama and top supporter of Trump’s campaign.

During his confirmation hearing for the attorney general post in January, Sessions said that he never spoke with any Russian officials during the campaign.

Sessions has since argued that he met and talked with Kislyak in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Schiff dismissed that notion on Thursday, saying the attorney general would have to be “extraordinarily naive or gullible to believe that the Ambassador was seeking him out in his office for a discussion on military matters.”

“Sessions is neither,” he said.