Sessions to appear before Senate intelligence committee

Jun 14, 2017, 02:22

Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US during the presidential campaign has sparked questions, agreed Saturday, June 10, to appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election.

The appearance before the Senate intelligence committee comes one week after former FBI Director Comey cryptically told lawmakers the bureau had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did from an investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

File image of Jeff Sessions.

Sessions says it's clear the Russian investigation would become the focus of questioning.

One of the "overlooked" details from Thursday, Rather said, is that "Attorney General Sessions is now a marked man" because Comey revealed yet another undisclosed meeting between Sessions and Russian ambassador to the USA and purported spymaster Sergey Kislyak. During his January confirmation hearing he failed to disclose meetings he held with Russian officials. What was it about the attorney general's interactions with the Russians or his behavior with regard to the investigation that would have led the entire leadership of the FBI to make this decision?

Questions about Sessions resurfaced last week following Comey's testimony about his conversations and meetings with President Trump before Comey was abruptly dismissed as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a stunning development that reverberated through political circles in the nation's capital.

Sessions said in a letter on Saturday that he will appear before the committee to address matters that former Comey brought up last week in dramatic testimony to the same panel. He wrote that "it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum" and he would have his deputy deal with the budget hearings.

Former FBI director James Comey raised additional questions at a hearing on Thursday, saying that the FBI expected Mr Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he actually did.

Sessions was scheduled to testify before Congress on Tuesday for the first time since he was confirmed as attorney general in February.

Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

Sessions said he learned members of those subcommittees planned to ask him questions about the investigation into Russian election meddling, and decided the Senate Intelligence Committee was a more appropriate venue to field those questions. "My impression was, something big is about to happen", Comey said, as he recalled the encounter.

The next day, Comey said, he implored Sessions never to leave him alone again with the president, but Sessions did not reply.

It would be "fitting" for the attorney general to appear before Judiciary, Feinstein, the top Democrat on that panel, said on CNN.

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