Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify publicly before Senate on Tuesday

Kenny Thornton | 13 June, 2017, 04:45

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, facing fresh questions about his Russian contacts during the election campaign and his role in the firing of James Comey, will be interrogated in a public hearing by former Senate colleagues on Tuesday. A lot of questions for Sessions cropped up after Comey's testimony last week.

Former Director of FBI James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 8, 2017.

Sessions is likely to be questioned over the truthfulness of his answers in January. The allegations are being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional panels, including the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Several committee members, including Dianne Feinstein, D-California, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, had voiced support for a public hearing, but other members have complained that doing so will inevitably lead to a brick wall, where Sessions will say he can not discuss certain matters in public.

Senators on the Intelligence Committee will push Sessions for details Tuesday. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a member of the intelligence committee, referring to the existence of any recordings. Republicans have pressed Trump to say whether he has tapes of private conversations with Comey and provide them to Congress if he does - or possibly face a subpoena. Ivanka Trump will also host a 15 CEOs at the White House Wednesday, and the president then welcomes eight governors on Thursday for talks.

In March, Sessions recused himself from any investigations that look at Russia's actions in the 2016 campaign.

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Comey said last week that the bureau had information about Sessions - before he recused himself from overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election - that would have made it "problematic" for him to be involved in the probe.

Questions have arisen about Sessions' own involvement in the Trump campaign and his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US.

Comey has said it was at this meeting that Trump had asked him drop the case against Michael Flynn, his first National Security Adviser who he fired the day before for misleading vice-president Mike Pence about his meetings with Kislyak.

Comey also has said Sessions did not respond when he complained he didn't "want to get time alone with the president again".

Sessions recused himself from that inquiry in March after media reports that he had been in two previously undisclosed meetings previous year with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The Justice Department has denied that, saying Sessions stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies.


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