Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a crowd of college students in Massachusetts on Wednesday night that the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia's election interference meant it was time to "get on with the business of America."
Sessions, who recused himself from overseeing the investigation in its beginnings, spoke at an event hosted by student Republicans at Amherst College.
President Donald Trump’s former attorney general, who was fired in November, said Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in U.S. elections was "carried out vigorously and with integrity."
"The process was followed and a decision has now been rendered, and I think it deserves respect," Sessions said, according to the Boston Globe. "I think it’s about time to accept the results and let’s get on with the business of America."
Sessions, who was mentioned 491 times in Mueller's report, recused himself from heading the Russia investigation in March 2017 for failing to disclose election-year meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. His recusal, along with Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, prompted the appointment of Mueller to lead the wide-ranging inquiry.
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His recusal drew intense public scrutiny from Trump that raised questions about whether the president improperly interfered in the investigation.
Sessions said that while Congress does have its oversight powers, he believes it is time to accept that Mueller declined to recommend criminal charges against the president.
"I'd say it was complete and thorough, that's for sure," Sessions said.
Throughout the 448-page report, Mueller detailed "sweeping and systematic" Russian efforts to benefit Trump in the 2016 election and campaign aides eager for the help, though it ultimately found no conspiracy between Americans and Russians.
Mueller also found Trump tried repeatedly to thwart the inquiry but declined to decide whether the president's conduct constituted an obstruction crime. Instead, Attorney General William Barr and others in the Justice Department later said there wasn't enough evidence for obstruction-of-justice charges.
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Contributing: Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY; Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'It’s about time to accept the results': Former AG Jeff Sessions speaks out on Mueller report