Obstruction Inquiry Shows Trump’s Struggle to Keep Grip on Russia Investigation – The New York Times

Obstruction Inquiry Shows Trump’s Struggle to Keep Grip on Russia Investigation – The New York Times

Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the Russia investigation has been a source of friction with President Trump.Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.

Public pressure was building for Mr. Sessions, who had been a senior member of the Trump campaign, to step aside. But the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, carried out the president’s orders and lobbied Mr. Sessions to remain in charge of the inquiry, according to two people with knowledge of the episode.

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