Sessions spoke to Mueller’s office in January 2018 about his a year earlier challenge to overseeing the Russia inquiry and Trump’s reaction to it.
“Trump said something like ‘you were supposed to protect me’,” investigators told the former attorney general.
The sessions described a fragile and angry Trump, noting how the president reacted to a Chinese official’s comments about the investigation.
“A Chinese leader told Trump he regrets Trump being investigated, and Trump took this as a signal that his authority had been undermined by the investigation,” according to a note from the interview. Sessions with investigators first published Monday. .
So far, previous posts have fleshed out the details Mueller summarized in his final report regarding the actions of Trump and his campaign. But they often give much more detail. These documents are foundational documents explaining what investigators learned about the Trump campaign in 2016 and Trump’s behavior then and after.
The memos have so far revealed, for example, how senior Trump campaign officials have seen the President and other Trump campaign officials press for the publication of stolen Democratic emails and have supported a theory of the plot that Ukraine hacked Democrats in 2016.
Sometimes the documents have given much more complete portraits of the main co-operatives of the Russian investigations or of how investigators treated their witnesses.
What Sessions told investigators about Trump’s disappointment in handling the Mueller investigation was one of the most high-profile interviews the Mueller team has done, and details of which have been released. Since the investigation, Trump has publicly criticized the sessions, including when the former Trump supporter tried to capitalize on his service to the president in an unsuccessful Senate primary election this year.
The sessions also recalled that Trump compared him to Bobby Kennedy, attorney general to his brother John F. Kennedy, and former Barack Obama attorney general Eric Holder, and asked him to “recuse himself.” In one of the 2017 conversations, Trump called Sessions home.
“While Holder and Kennedy had been criticized, they had developed a strategy to help the president where Sessions had not,” Sessions told prosecutors. Trump has not been charged with a crime, at least in part because the Justice Department has not allowed the impeachment of a sitting president, although Mueller has documented several attempts by the president to put ended the investigation because he didn’t like the way it reflected on him politically.
In another memo released Monday, Mueller’s team documented their interaction with witness Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a senior White House adviser.
In Kushner’s interview note, a prosecutor from Mueller’s team warned the president’s son-in-law that responding that he did not remember could be a lie and against the law, if he in fact remembered the answer to a question.
Many documents, including Kushner’s, are heavily redacted. Some do not even reveal the name of the interviewee.
The memos, called 302 by the FBI, were typed up by agents or prosecutors after questioning each witness. The Justice Department has kept many of the heavily redacted memos as they continue to release them this year.