House Freedom Caucus Members Call For the Resignation of Jeff Sessions.

Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step aside "now," citing the Justice Department's handling of the investigation into President Donald Trump's campaign ties to Russian operatives and intelligence leaks to media as key concerns with his performance.

In a joint opinion piece published in the Washington Examiner, Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman and former chairman, respectively, of the influential conservative House Freedom Caucus, decried the "manufactured hysteria" over the probe into Russian election interference, faulting Sessions — who has recused himself from the inquiry — for allowing revelations about the investigation to reach the press.

Meadows and Jordan said that "in spite of the constant headlines, rampant speculation, and overshadowing of accomplishments, a simple truth remains: There is no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians."

The two GOP lawmakers also questioned why the Federal Bureau of Investigation apparently did not interview George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser, until January 2017. A New York Times report published over the weekend said Papadopoulos was aware of Russian intelligence on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, which played a key role in the bureau opening a probe in July 2016 into Russian efforts to influence the U.S. elections.

"If Sessions can't address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general? Sadly, it seems the answer is now," the two GOP lawmakers wrote.