Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify publicly before Senate

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify publicly before Senate

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify publicly before Senate

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify Tuesday at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that will likely focus on his meetings with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Comey told the intelligence committee that, after an encounter with President Trump in which he said Trump pressured him to back off an investigation into the former national security adviser, Comey "implored" Sessions to make sure he was never left alone with the president again - but that Sessions didn't respond.

Even before Sessions spoke, attention in Washington swiveled to whether President Donald Trump might seek to fire Robert Mueller, an ex-FBI director named last month by the Justice Department to head a federal probe into the Russian Federation issue.

As Rachel noted on last night's show, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has become a key player in Donald Trump's Russian Federation scandal, and his Senate testimony this afternoon will hopefully bring some answers to important unanswered questions.

As late as Sunday, the Justice Department signaled it expected Sessions testimony to be closed but said the final decision was up to the committee. "He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow".

White House spokesman Sean Spicer did not explicitly endorse Sessions' appearance, saying in response to a question, "We're aware of it, and we'll go from there".

Later, Comey said he was so uncomfortable that he went to Sessions to "implore" him "to prevent any future direct communication between the President and me".

It comes as political intrigue pulses through the United States capital following explosive testimony by Comey before the same panel last week, and as Trump has expressed frustrations with Sessions, one of his earliest high-profile campaign backers.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Tuesday he's seen no basis for firing Robert Mueller, the former FBI director he appointed as special counsel to oversee an investigation into potential coordination between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Sessions then spoke individually to some of the ambassadors, including Kislyak, the official said. Since the day he submitted his recusal, the attorney general has not been briefed on or participated in any investigation within the scope of his recusal.

Comey has already admitted he leaked classified government documents in order to manipulate the Department of Justice into appointing a Special Counsel to investigate the non-existent Russian "hacking" of the 2016 election as payback for his firing.

Comey testified that in the privacy of the Oval Office, the President asked him to let the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn drop.

Sessions and Republicans also stressed there was a difference between meeting with foreign officials as a senator and as a member of a campaign.

The abrupt dismissal of Comey prompted Trump's critics to charge that the president was trying to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The attorney general explained that he met with "a senior ethics official" at the Justice Department in February as press reports emerged questioning his involvement in the investigation, given his role in Trump's campaign.

"It is really unclear what he is going to say, and I am a little bit surprised because in the past, he has gotten into trouble when he said things and they turned out not to be entirely true", said Jens Ohlin, a professor of law at Cornell University.

Asked about media reports that he had met with Kislyak on a third occasion at a Washington hotel a year ago, Sessions testified that did not remember meeting or having a conversation with the ambassador at the event.

Cornyn, R-Texas, said that he was confident Sessions will put an end to the "myths" surrounding recent reports, with his testimony.

If there is no independent account of what might have taken place inside the White House - in the form of a recording system that might have kept "tapes" of the discussions that took place, as Trump once suggested on Twitter - it boils down to Trump's and Sessions' word against Comey's.

But the revelations forced Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation in March.

Sessions had a remarkable path to the attorney general post.

Sessions was a less than forthcoming witness at his confirmation hearings.

Sessions will testify during a public hearing Tuesday.

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