Jeff Sessions agrees to appear before Senate intelligence committee

Angie Massey
June 20, 2017

Richard Shelby, Senate Appropriations Committee chair, Sessions cited public statements of some members that they would use their time with Sessions to ask him questions about the Russian Federation issue instead of the purported subject of discussion, the Department of Justice's FY 2018 budget.

Sessions came off particularly badly in last Thursday's testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey, leading Dan Rather to label him a "marked man". Sessions was supposed to go before the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees this week, but his statement says that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will take his place for those hearings. COMEY: Our judgment, as I recall, is that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. During his January confirmation hearing he failed to disclose meetings he held with Russian officials.

Comey told the intelligence committee in a closed session that Sessions may have had a third, undisclosed interaction with Russia's ambassador to the United States, according to people familiar with the briefing. "My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn't be leaving", Comey added.

Sessions removed himself from the investigation on March 2, shortly after it was revealed that he met at least twice previous year with Russia's ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The attorney general, the highest-ranking law-enforcement officer in the nation, said he would testify before the Senate committee Tuesday, presumably under oath. WYDEN: How would you characterize Attorney General Sessions's adherence to his recusal? If, as the president said, I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation, why was the attorney general involved in that chain? But: "I think there's absolutely evidence to begin a case". After Comey met in a classified meeting with the intelligence committee, reports leaked out that Sessions may have had a third meeting with Kislyak previous year. He later admitted to two meetings.

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Mr Sessions did not say in the letter whether his appearance would be in public or behind closed doors.

Attorney General Jeff Session, right, and Vice President Mike Pence attend a Cabinet meeting with President Donald Trump, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

But behind the scenes, there was significant pushback from Democrats - including Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman Mark Warner - who raised objections with Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr that Sessions may be trying to skirt public scrutiny.

Sessions' decision not to appear before the committees was met with harsh criticism from Sen.

Sessions was scheduled to discuss the Justice Department budget before Sen. Burr was an vocal supporter of Trump's candidacy and an official adviser to the campaign.

Other reports by GizPress

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