Blumenthal: Let Judiciary panel take crack at close-mouthed Sessions

"I did not have any private meetings, nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel".

And Sessions also denied that he misled Senator Al Franken of Minnesota during his confirmation hearing this year. A few even cut off Sessions mid-answer in order to get a proper response. He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation thought Sessions would soon recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe for a "variety of reasons" and wouldn't discuss it further in an open hearing. He never, he insisted, knew anything about the Russian Federation probe or had any role in it. I've never received any detail, briefing on how hacking occurred or how information was alleged to have influenced the campaigns.

The Justice Department subsequently released decades-old memos from its Office of Legal Counsel that it said supported Sessions' position.

Testifying at a packed Senate hearing, Sessions, who was a close Trump adviser during the battle for the presidency, also rejected any idea of misconduct in the ouster of FBI Director James Comey and vowed to defend his honor "against scurrilous and false allegations".

JOHNSON: Jeff Sessions says he may have run into the Russian ambassador a year ago at a campaign event at the Mayflower Hotel, but that was not a substantive meeting and nothing to worry about, certainly not the big deal the media and former FBI Director James Comey seem to be making it now.

During the senate hearing, he acknowledged having two previously disclosed meetings with Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the US. Comey replied that he had brought up questions about Sessions's contact with Russian Federation.

Wyden asked Sessions what problematic issues exist. There are none! I can tell you that for absolute certainty. "There are none, Senator Wyden, there are none", Sessions insisted, his voice rising. The probe over the possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation is now in the hands of special counsel Bob Mueller following the Comey dismissal.

"This is a secret innuendo out being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it", Sessions said.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the person who would be responsible for carrying out any such dismissal, told a different congressional panel he would not fire Mueller without good cause and he had seen no such cause.

"I've watched that video so many times", said Flores. "I think if I had had a meeting with Ambassador Kislyak, or three for that matter, I would go the extra mile to make sure that every time I connected with him I was transparent about that with the US Congress".

He told King that he never sought details on the Russian Federation investigation because of his close connections to Trump's presidential campaign. Sessions told the committee he is protecting Trump's right to later on assert executive privilege "if he chooses".

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

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