CNN: Can Sessions actually run for his old Senate seat?

Maegan Vazqeuz
Nov 16, 2017
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A growing group of Republicans want Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be the party's choice in the Alabama Senate race, but ethics experts say Sessions either would have to have to leave the Department of Justice or continually disavow campaigns to put him in the seat if he wants to run for the office and avoid legal trouble.

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Walter Shaub, a former director of the US Office of Government Ethics who's now at the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, told CNN that the federal Office of Special Counsel has issued an advisory opinion on write-in candidates.

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"There's a question as to whether it's a write-in campaign or a stray comment from one guy," Shaub said following McConnell's comments. "If McConnell keeps talking about it, he's going to create an affirmative duty."

Larry Noble, a senior director at the Campaign Legal Center who's a CNN contributor, said Republicans such as McConnell are "putting (Sessions) in a very difficult position" by even suggesting he be a write-in candidate.

"We are close to the line of his having to disavow," Noble added. For Sessions to be eligible as a write-in candidate, Noble said, he would have to "affirmatively disavow" any campaign or resign from office to avoid violating the Hatch Act.

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