Sessions to face sharp questions on Russian Federation contacts

Alvin Kelly
June 14, 2017

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

First, Sessions contradicted Comey's testimony regarding their interactions related to private meetings with President Donald Trump.

CNN previously reported that congressional investigators are examining whether Sessions had an additional private meeting with the Russian ambassador in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

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.

Harris: So did you not consult it before you came before this committee knowing we would ask you questions about it?

Comey himself had a riveting appearance before the same Senate panel last week, with some key moments centered on Sessions. Much of the government seems bogged down in litigating the Russian Federation controversy and unusual happenings in the Oval Office, where the half-life of presidential confidences has never been shorter.

"The people of this country expect an honest and transparent government and that is what we are giving them", Sessions said. In public, however, not much aside from the Russian Federation is getting done. He sipped from two glasses of ice-water as he tried to convince the committee of how little he could remember despite a honest desire to help.

"It's conceivable that that occurred", Sessions said.

If questions arise about what matters Sessions should stay away from, he said, a career official in Rosenstein's office is consulted. "I hope you can let this go".

"I'm not able to be rushed this fast".

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At one point, Sen.

"I have never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States". But Sessions said Tuesday those meetings were during his official capacity as a Senator, and they were to discuss the U.S.'s displeasure with Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Sessions said he learned from Comey that he felt concerned about being left alone with the president but that, since Comey did not relay details of the conversation, he had no way of knowing it was improper.

Since he was an advisor during the Trump campaign, he had to recuse himself from any investigation of that campaign. Brian Schatz about the scope of Sessions' recusal, Rosenstein said Sessions "actually does not know what we're investigating, and I'm not going to be talking about it publicly". "He's a good guy". What do you most want to ask him? 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.

"Do you concur with the president that he was going to fire Comey regardless of recommendation, because the problem was the Russian investigation?" Sen.

"Following a routine morning threat briefing, Mr. Comey spoke to me and my chief of staff". "I responded to his comments by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policies regarding appropriate contact with the White House".

Senator Feinstein (D-CA) - and several others - attacked his refusal to answer some questions on the ground that they would reveal private conversations with the president.

Sessions refused to say whether he and Trump discussed FBI Director James Comey's handling of an investigation into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation during the election campaign before the president fired Comey on 9 May.

Asked by senator James Risch, a Republican from Idaho, whether Sessions had heard "a whisper or suggestion or anyone making making reference within [the Trump] campaign that somehow the Russians were involved in that campaign", the attorney general responded "I did not". He had "talked about it", he said, although the it that was talked about may not have been a policy after all. The questions, however, were mostly the same questions asked in different ways and were, as Senator Harris (D-CA) said, "predictable".

Throughout the hearing, Sessions refused to answer questions about his conversations with the president, although the president has not invoked executive privilege and such privilege is not open to Sessions.

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