Attorney General Sessions' Testimony To Senate Panel Will Be Public

Wendy Jensen
June 13, 2017

Sessions is expected to face sharp questioning from his former Senate colleagues about his role in the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 election. "He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in an open session before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday afternoon as a part of its ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

This will be the first time Sessions has testified in Congress since he recused himself from the Justice Department's probe into Russian meddling in last year's election, and since the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

But Sessions will be able to corroborate, or not, details of Comey's version of events before and after the encounter, during which, Comey says, Trump all but directed him to back off an investigation into retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who until hours earlier had been Trump's national security adviser.

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Comey's remarks drew an angry response from the president on Friday accusing Comey of lying. And if he acknowledges he had some concerns, he will open up a new line of questioning about the conduct of President Trump and his advisers.

"I don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct", Comey testified.

"I have a recollection of him just kind of looking at me", Comey testified. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the intelligence committee, referring to the existence of any recordings.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday left open the possibility Mr. Sessions would do this.

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Comey told the intelligence committee in a closed session that Sessions may have had a third, undisclosed interaction with Russia's ambassador to the United States, according to people familiar with the briefing. While the hearing will be held in public, there has been no time scheduled - at least as of Monday morning - for Sessions to stick around and testify in a closed hearing to discuss classified matters, according to those aides, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

When Comey testified in an open session before the same committee last Tuesday, June 9, he told the Senators that the FBI had expected Sessions - who in the administration chain of command was Comey's direct boss - to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation. Comey was leading that probe.

CNN reported at the time that the Federal Bureau of Investigation denied Priebus' request, although White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at the time that the White House was simply asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation "to tell the truth" in response to reports about Trump campaign communications with Russian officials.

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She said Sessions should also testify before the Judiciary Committee, because it was better suited to explore legal questions of possible obstruction. Levine added that Sessions is "expected to cite executive privilege" as his basis for refusing to answer those questions - meaning the attorney general will claim that his conversations with Trump are legally protected from disclosure in public. But senators on the committee are expected to question Sessions about his meetings with Russians - a topic that's come under increased scrutiny amid investigations into Russia's interference in the USA election. Sessions, a former senator, later issued a clarification saying he had met with the ambassador. "Sessions actually offered to resign, even though his friends say he doesn't want to leave, but Trump has refused to accept that resignation".

Other reports by Info About Network

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