US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said he will step aside from a federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Mr Sessions faced mounting pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to withdraw after revelations that he had twice talked with Moscow's US envoy during the presidential campaign.
Mr Sessions's conversations with the ambassador seem to contradict his sworn statements to Congress during his confirmation hearings.
The Justice Department said there was nothing improper about the meetings and Mr Sessions insisted he never met Russian officials to discuss the campaign.
Mr Sessions said this week he would recuse himself - or step aside - when appropriate.
When attorneys general have recused themselves in the past, investigations were handled by lower-ranking but still senior political appointees within the Justice Department.