The Era of Recusal

“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.”–Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.

CBS News:  Devin Nunes recuses himself from Russia probe.

Fox Business News:

As secretary of state, Mr. Tillerson, following through on his pledge to recuse himself from potential Exxon-related matters, stayed out of State Department deliberations on the permit for the Keystone XL project, a proposed pipeline that would carry oil from Canada into the U.S.

The last issue was what inspired me, as I heard on Morning Edition this morning that Tillerson will recuse himself from discussions (which are mostly a Treasury Department decision) about Exxon’s request for a waiver to sanctions on Russia. (Audio here, no transcript as yet).

In a pure coincidence, “recusal” and “Russia” are brought you by the letter “R.”

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. gVOR08 says:

    Jeff Sessions was replaced on Russia by Mary McCord, who just resigned for, as far as I’m aware, unstated reasons. (Yeah, yeah, pursue other opportunities.) So gawd knows what;’s going on there.

    On the Intel committee Nunes is replaced by Mike Conaway, who appears to be just as detrmined to cover for Trump. My “Representative”, Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), is on the committee. His boiler plate replies to my letters make it clear he wants to sound concerned about Russia, but intends to do as little as he can get away with. Except for trying to nail Susan Rice for Bengh gawd knows what. .

    One may safely assume Tillerson has made his desires clear. And as you say, it’s mostly a Treasury thing, where I think one may safely infer a Goldman Sachs alumni’s preferences.

    So yes, the Trump admin is stuffed full of conflicts of interest and these recusals really don’t make much difference.

  2. John Peabody says:

    “Recuse” and “Russia” begin with “R”? Really? Ridiculous. Mere Ruddy Rumors Running Rampant.

  3. SenyorDave says:

    If there really is fire beneath the smoke about Russia, the Democrats should spend the next year and a half before midterms educating people about what constitutes a traitor. To refuse to conduct an honest investigation into the possibility that Russia interfered in the US election for president and might have coordinated with the Trump campaign. Do they still hang people for treason?

  4. rachel says:

    …“recusal” and “Russia” are brought you by the letter “R.”

    Worst episode of Sesame Street ever.

  5. gVOR08 says:


    Do they still hang people for treason?