Sessions says he was never briefed on Russian interference

Alvin Kelly
June 14, 2017

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. Rosenstein said he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

But he denied reports that he had a third, previously undisclosed meeting with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington in April 2016.

Under questioning on January 10, Sessions said he had no communications with Russians during the campaign.

"Though I do recall several conversations that I had during that "Free Speech" reception, I do not have any recollection with meeting, talking to the Russian ambassador or any other Russian officials".

Why? Because he personally recused himself from all things related to the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation the day after he was sworn into office.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has confidence in the Department of Justice's special counsel investigating Russian interference in US elections.

"You raised your right hand here today and said you would solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth", Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich said.

Sanders would not, however, say whether the President has confidence in Mueller in that role.

The 1982 Olson memo generally describes the importance of executive privilege between the president and the attorney general, as it allows the president to receive candid advice. "You never thought it was appropriate to raise those concerns before he was actually terminated by the president?" Sen. "I have confidence in Mr. Mueller", he said. He was being asked about Comey's testimony.

"I regret that I do not", Rosenstein said.

Mr. Sessions said his department is pursuing investigations into leaks, and pointed to the arrest last week of a government contractor in Georgia who has been charged with leaks. Comey in part cited then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch's tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton - the husband of the subject of the investigation - which Comey said concerned him.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday that he had any undisclosed meeting with the Russian ambassador or conversations with Russian officials about the USA elections.

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Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said he believes the Comey disclosure violated Federal Bureau of Investigation regulations but said the Office of Professional Responsibility may be reluctant to look into an disciplinary allegation against a former rather than current employee. Trump has cooled on him, Congress is set to interrogate him, and a special counsel could end up making him a focus of a criminal investigation.

Indian-American senator Kamala Harris launched a tough question-answer round on US Attorney General Jeff Sessions who testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

Under questioning from Sen. "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says". "It would be premature to me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice on executive privilege", Mr Sessions said.

Varney replied: "I do think it's a shame that our nation's business should be put on hold while we spend all of our time looking at James Comey testifying, Jeff Sessions testifying, about what I think, frankly, are minuscule matters".

The comment came in response to questions from Democratic Sen.

That led to a series of frustrated and sometimes tense exchanges with critics of President Donald Trump on the panel, NBC News reported.

Rosenstein says the attorney general would be the only one who could fire Mueller. Because if there was any question it was related to the Russian Federation case, Sessions should have recused himself.

Toobin believes the White House comes out the victor in that Sessions will now draw the brunt of the criticism for not answering the questions, rather than Trump.

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.

Ryan said the smartest thing for the president to do would be to let the investigation continue and be vindicated.

"I don't know Sen".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the Justice Department's fiscal 2018 budget.

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