In Senate hearing, Jeff Sessions denies 'false and scurrilous allegations'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn-in prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 13, 2017 in Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's the biggest blockbuster Washington drama since ... last week.

The U.S. Attorney General denounced as a "detestable lie" charges that he had been party to any Russian election interference during the 2016 campaign, as Jeff Sessions sidestepped a number of questions from Democrats in a politically charged hearing on Russia's election actions.

Sessions also denied the notion that concerns about Trump's behavior caused him to linger after a meeting when Trump asked for everyone but Comey to leave the room.

Sessions arrived at the Capitol with Washington roiling over reports that Trump was considering removing Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the Russian probe. "It didn't seem to me to be a major problem", Sessions said. Does he simply want to get his side of the story out following Comey's testimony?

Lawmakers, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate and to determine if Sessions committed perjury when he denied having had meetings with Russians.

Rosenstein repeatedly conveyed his support for Mueller's role at a Senate hearing, held the morning after a close friend of President Donald Trump was quoted in a television interview as saying he was considering dismissing Mueller. "It's not only highly unusual, but I'm not sure it's appropriate", Mr. Cramer, a security and business consultant with Berkeley Research Group, said in an interview. "The more he says, the more he risks being called out for inconsistencies". "I responded to his comments by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policies regarding appropriate contact with the White House".

The testimony by Comey marked the latest chapter in a saga that has dogged the Republican Trump's first five months as president and distracted from his domestic policy agenda including major healthcare and tax cut initiatives.

Martin Heinrich (D) accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of obstructing Congress' probe into President Trump and Russian Federation.

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".

Ron Wyden aggressively questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions on just what former FBI Director James Comey thought was "problematic" about Sessions that would ultimately lead to his recusal in the federal Russian Federation probe.

Sessions revealed Tuesday that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein had discussed Comey and his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Sessions says the president was not asserting executive privilege and that Sessions was simply protecting Trump's right to do so if he chooses.

Sessions also said he does not remember any other meetings with Russian officials, except those two, during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"Let me state this clearly: I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election", Mr. Sessions said. He said at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

Democrats have bristled at that prospect, and several experts have warned that such a move could prove politically disastrous.

"I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign", he added.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for the DOJ policy Sessions cited during the hearing. If he did have a conversation with the ambassador, it was "certainly nothing improper". "The Attorney-General invoked executive privilege on behalf of someone else".

"I don't think that's a question for me to answer", Rosenstein responded. I don't even read that carefully. The committee can also work with the Trump administration to come up with a solution.

Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation weeks later.

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