tiptrot.com
tiptrot.com June 22, 2017


Sessions to appear before Senate intelligence committee

13 June 2017, 07:25 | Cynthia Sparks

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a letter on Saturday that he will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to address matters former FBI Director James Comey brought up this week in testimony to the same panel.

The appearance before the Senate intelligence committee comes one week after former FBI Director Comey cryptically told lawmakers the bureau had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did from an investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

Sessions had been scheduled to testify before other committees about the Justice Department's budget that day, but he will instead appear before the intelligence panel.

Sessions noted that several lawmakers on those panels had said they meant to ask him about the Russian Federation investigation, after testimony by former FBI director James Comey before the intelligence committee Thursday.

"Some members have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference into Russian interference in the 2016 election, " his letter said.

Mr Sessions recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the presidential campaign of Donald Trump after acknowledging that he had met twice previous year with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

In January, Sessions was still a senator from the state of Alabama when he appeared at a hearing before his confirmation as attorney general. The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, will appear in place of Sessions at the budget review.

Comey's testimony raised lingering questions surrounding Sessions' recusal from the FBI's Russian Federation probe. But on Saturday, after senators made clear they would zero in on Sessions's connections to Russia, Sessions shifted his plan, opting to address the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sessions refused. He may also be under a cloud of suspicion after Comey, in his devastating testimony, suggested the attorney general may have failed to take appropriate steps to protect the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief.


Despite the report, White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday in response to a question from a reporter that Trump "absolutely" has confidence in Sessions.

Senate Democrats have raised the possibility that Sessions and Kislyak could have met there, though Justice Department officials say there were no private encounters or side meetings.

Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador.

At the conclusion of a February 14 meeting in the White House, Comey testified, Trump urged everyone else but Comey to leave the Oval Office, including Sessions. He later recused himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

During Comey's appearance Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen.

Comey's testimony raised questions about Sessions' engagements with Russian Federation and his involvement in Comey's firing despite Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation investigation, which Comey was leading.

When the two men were alone, the ex-FBI director said, Trump urged Comey to stop the investigation into fired national security advisor Michael Flynn.



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