Jeff Sessions denies 'false and scurrilous Russian Federation allegations'

Lynette Rowe
June 14, 2017

"I am asking when you knew that you'd be asked these questions and would be relying on that policy, did you not ask your staff to show you the policy that would be the basis for you refusing to answer the majority of the questions that have been asked of you?" "You either answer the question under oath, or you invoke executive privilege". "You're impeding this investigation".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was given the opportunity "to separate fact from fiction and to set the record straight" on the swirling charges of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the firing of FBI Director James Comey for investigating it all.

Sessions was repeatedly brought to task for evading questions on key parts of the Senate investigation.

Sessions had previously recused himself from the FBI's probe into alleged collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation.

Ron Wyden (D-OR) had a heated exchange with Sessions, in which Wyden said "the American people have had it with stonewalling". "Americans don't want to hear that answers to relevant questions are privileged".

Stewart, who saw portions of the hearing and read most of the transcript that was available Tuesday evening, said he considered Sessions' responses appropriate in not discussing his conversations with Trump. Namely, they were upset with his very public handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, which Sessions said was a "usurpation" of Justice Department authority.

In part that's because Sessions answered numerous questions he was asked with a variation of "I don't recall" or "I don't think so".

Besides Wyden, several other Democratic senators pressed Sessions over his refusal to discuss his conversations with President Trump over Comey's firing. "It is premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege", Sessions said.

"I did not have any private meetings nor do I recall any private conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel", said Sessions during his testimony, according to Los Angeles Times.

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Sessions said he had conversations regarding the "general strategic concept" that the USA and Russian Federation could forge a more harmonious relationship.

Sessions said any suggestion that he colluded with the Russians "to hurt this country", and even those that implied that he was aware of any collusion, were "appalling and detestable lie [s]".

The former Alabama senator defended himself against accusations that he misrepresented himself during his confirmation hearing by saying he hadn't met with Russian officials during the campaign. But under questioning, Sessions acknowledged that Trump's campaign foreign policy advisers "never functioned as a coherent team" and there were members of that group he never met.

But Sessions said that despite his sense of problems at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he never raised that with Comey. "President, I can't talk about that, '" Sessions testified.

Sessions said he agreed with a letter drafted by his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, that Comey should be replaced.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Sessions is likely to be asked whether he played a role in Trump's decision to fire Comey.

Sessions was sworn in February 9 but did not actually step away from the investigation until March 2, the day after The Washington Post reported on his two previously undisclosed Kislyak meetings.

Sessions more broadly distanced himself from allegations about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, according to BBC.

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