Jeff Sessions testifies before Senate

Danny Woods
June 14, 2017

Sessions was a Trump campaign surrogate during last year's race.

Sessions, a close Trump adviser during the battle for the presidency, said in his opening statement that it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest he was aware of or participated in any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Sessions adds that he has no knowledge of "any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign". However, in his opening remarks Tuesday, Sessions said he did not disclose two meetings with Kislyak because he was responding to Franken's "rambling question".

In a testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, Comey raised red flags when he said that prior to Sessions' recusal, the FBI was aware of information that would have made his continued involvement in the Russian Federation investigation "problematic". He asserted that "I am protecting the right of the president to assert if it he chooses and there may be other privileges that may apply". His insistence that there was no reason to recuse himself from the dismissal of Comey because it was due to Comey's improper handling of the Hillary Clinton's email case and not to end the Russian Federation investigation, as Trump himself said in a TV interview, was just not believable.

Harris was questioning Sessions about policies from the Department of Justice he was citing as the reason he was unable to answer certain questions during his testimony.

He declined to specify which practice he was using to refuse to answer senator's questions.

"Americans don't want to hear that the answers to relevant questions are privileged and off limits or that they can't be provided in public or that it would be quote, inappropriate, for witnesses to tell us what they know", he said. Ron Wyden: "There are none". Before Sessions could answer the question, his time with the California Senator ended.

The same thing happened last week when McCain first interrupted Harris to ask her to let Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein answer the question posed.

On another issue, Sen Marco Rubio, asked Mr Sessions whether Mr Trump records his conversations in the White House.

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Comey testified last week that the president asked him to drop an investigation into his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.

"In retrospect, do you believe that it would have been better for you to have stayed out of the decision to fire director Comey?"

Sessions' claim of a vague, possibily unwritten or even nonexistent policy that he couldn't talk about his conversations with the president likewise didn't hold water. "They don't decide prosecution".

Sessions pushed back on several statements made by Comey in his testimony last week, including Comey's assertion that Sessions shrugged off his concerns about being left alone with Trump.

The Attorney General vowed to defend his honour "against scurrilous and false allegations".

"Well, some of that leaked out of the committee that he said in closed session", Sessions said. Members of the committee said Sessions was impeding the investigation.

The attorney general on March 2 recused himself from the FBI investigation into Russia's role in the election, saying he felt he was required to do so because he had been a prominent figure in Trump's campaign.

Sessions says his recusal was not because he had done something wrong or was, himself, the subject of the investigation.

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