Federal investigators looked into Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ contact with Russian officials before the election, according to a report published Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.
Investigators probed Sessions’ contacts during the time when he served as a senior adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. That examination was part of an investigation into ties between Trump aides and Russia, and its outcome was unclear.
One unnamed source said the FBI played a role in examining Sessions’ contacts, and the agency was left “wringing its hands” about how to proceed, per the Wall Street Journal.
Sessions denied during his confirmation hearing in January that he had “communications with Russians.”
On Thursday, however, Sessions’ spokeswoman confirmed that Sessions met twice with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, before the election.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Thursday said that Sessions should recuse himself from the probe into Trump aides’ ties to Russia if he personally is under investigation.
“If he himself is the subject of an investigation, of course he would,” Ryan said.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) dodged questions the same day about whether FBI Director James Comey briefed members of the Senate Intelligence Committee about Sessions’ contact with Kislyak.
“Are you suggesting you’ve got something that says that Comey knew?” Burr said. “I don’t get into discussions we have with the director of the FBI.”