by Dan Froomkin
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has never been clear about what exactly he has recused himself from.
He has arguably violated it at least once already, by participating in the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Expectations are mounting about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. But if and when Mueller decides to press criminal charges against top Trump officials – not to mention Trump himself -- the pressure to shut him down will become immense.
How Sessions defines his recusal going forward, therefore, could be hugely consequential should Sessions manage to keep his job and should Mueller manage to do his.
Senators on the Intelligence Committee will get a chance to question Sessions today, and they could do worse than focusing on that recusal and what he is willing to say it means.
Specifically, they should get Sessions to say on the record whether or not he is recusing himself from any and all matters that fall under Mueller's remit going forward -- as well as promising not to fire Mueller or any member of his team.
The attorney general's official recusal statement on March 2 was an oddly-worded exercise in obfuscation. "I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States," Sessions said.