AG Jeff Sessions testifies before Senate intelligence committee: 4 key takeaways

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions tesitfies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C., the United States, on June 13, 2017. In his testimony, Sessions sought to staunch the increasingly rapid flow of embarrassing information from the Trump White House. "There are none", the Attorney-General responded.

Sessions took particular aim at news reports about a possible meeting he had with a Russian official during an April 2016 event at the Mayflower hotel, where Trump gave a pro-Russian speech.

In part that's because Sessions answered numerous questions he was asked with a variation of "I don't recall" or "I don't think so".

Sessions is now the only Trump official on the record, under oath, countering Comey's testimony last week under oath. Much of the government seems bogged down in litigating the Russian Federation controversy and odd happenings in the Oval Office, where the half-life of presidential confidences has never been shorter.

Burr says the committee staff met with Johnson on Monday. 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.

"I am not stonewalling", Sessions said.

"It is an appalling and detestable lie to suggest I participated in any collusion", Sessions said in his opening statement to members of the committee.

Throughout the questioning, Sessions defended himself and refused to discuss any details of conversations he has had with President Trump. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. "I don't want to be rushed this fast". I was not making a report about it to anyone.

Sessions was unequivocal about at least one thing.

The attorney general readily acknowledged his previously undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, which led to his recusal from cases involving Russia and the Trump campaign early into his job.

Said Ryan: "I know Bob Mueller".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is contradicting fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's testimony about his concerns over a meeting he had with Trump.

In particular, Sessions tamped down Comey's recounting of the February 14 meeting Comey had with Trump - where Trump reportedly asked him stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Legal experts have told ThinkProgress that Trump's public disclosures regarding Comey's firing put into question whether his conversations with Comey are protected by presidential executive privilege, a legal doctrine that is not constitutionally guaranteed but that historically has protected a president's communications. "If there were not good cause it wouldn't matter what anyone said".

"Sessions can't come out and say it but his testimony and the evidence pretty strongly suggests that Sessions and Rosenstein wanted to get rid of Comey for one reason (he violated normal procedures in the Clinton investigation) and Trump terminated him for another (Comey wouldn't publicly say that he wasn't under investigation)".

Sessions: Well I am unable to answer the ... He did differ from Comey on two points. He told the committee that Comey "expressed concern about being left alone with the president". "I knew that Director Comey, long-time experienced in the Department of Justice, could handle himself well", Sessions told Sen.

Biggest takeaway from #SessionsHearing: Attorney General Jeff Sessions' favorite words are, "I don't recall" and "I don't remember".

Former FBI Director James Comey testified earlier before the Senate intelligence committee said he knew of reasons why it would be problematic for Sessions to remain involved in the Russian Federation investigation, even before he recused himself. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice" on private discussions with the White House. He had not read the policy; nor had he asked that the policy be provided to him. But he said that the two never substantially talked. It began over the weekend when Trump's lawyer wouldn't rule it out; then his associate Newt Gingrich appeared to call for it, as did some conservative commentators; Trump's friend Chris Ruddy said he was actually considering it. "It would be premature to me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice on executive privilege", Mr Sessions said.

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