Congressional Republicans Say Sessions Should Recuse Himself from Russian Investigation

'To disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case'

Lookups for recuse spiked on March 2, 2017, after it was revealed that, during his confirmation hearing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose two conversations he had with the Russian ambassador last year. These conversations took place during a time when U.S. intelligence agencies report that Russia was trying to interfere with the presidential election. Both Democrats and Republicans are now calling for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and though he insists that he never discussed politics with Russian officials, he also indicated that he is willing to recuse himself from any such investigation.

Democrats escalated their demands late Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government after a disclosure that Mr. Sessions himself spoke with the Russian ambassador last year, seemingly contradicting his testimony at his confirmation hearing.
—Charlie Savage, The New York Times, 2 March 2017

Recuse means “to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case” and “to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest.” Recuse came to English from French and ultimately traces back to the Latin word recusare (“to object to” or “to refuse”). Recusare in turn derives from the Latin root causa meaning “cause,” “apology,” and “lawsuit,” the ancestor of the English word cause. It’s also the source of the -cuse part of recuse, accuse, and excuse.

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