Comey said FBI leadership was “convinced” that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would likely recuse himself from Russia-related investigations — a belief that turned out to be accurate — but did not say why. And in a cryptic remark, Comey suggested that there were classified reasons why Sessions would not remain involved with the Russia probe.
In his prepared remarks, published Wednesday, Comey had said he decided not to tell Sessions about Trump’s request that the FBI ease up on the Flynn investigation for the same reason. The now-fired FBI director wrote that he had discussed it with the bureau’s leadership, and they agreed “it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations.”
However, Comey did not explain why he believed Sessions would recuse himself. Two weeks later, after it emerged that Sessions had undisclosed contacts with the Russian ambassador, the attorney general did recuse himself, a decision said to have enraged the president.
But Comey did not say in his prepared remarks what other reasons the FBI may have had for believing that Sessions would ultimately recuse himself. When asked about this on Thursday by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Comey suggested that there were reasons why Sessions could not remain involved in the probe, but that these reasons involved classified information.