Jeff Sessions denies 'false and scurrilous Russia allegations'

In a continuance of the past action-packed week in politics, President Donald Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to testify Tuesday in another highly anticipated public hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The former Alabama senator defended himself against accusations that he misrepresented himself during his confirmation hearing by saying he hadn't met with Russian officials during the campaign.

Similarly, he did not answer whether Trump had expressed concern to Sessions about the attorney general's March decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

"Former colleagues, that is false", Sessions said. Graham also asked him if it would be a disqualifier to have worked for Hillary Clinton, who ran against President Donald Trump in the election and was a subject of a separate Justice Department investigation into her email practices. "I don't even read that carefully".

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said he was troubled that Sessions wouldn't appear before the appropriations panel and that the apparent reason was "he does not want to discuss the scope of his recusal from the investigation regarding the 2016 presidential campaign as well as his significant interactions with Russian officials".

He says it "became clear to me over time that I qualified as a principal adviser to the campaign and it was appropriate and right for me to recuse myself". "That regulation states in effect that department employees should not participate in investigations either came pain if they served as a campaign adviser".

Harris was silenced last week during former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's testimony because she would not allow him to properly answer questions either.

Sessions, who requested an open hearing a day before his testimony, began his opening statement by insisting that such interference by Russian Federation into our election can "never be tolerated". The then-acting deputy attorney general was Comey's direct supervisor, and if he had concerns about Sessions staying involved in the Russian Federation investigation, Sessions said he should've brought those concerns to her attention. I adopted the Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein's points that he made in his memorandum and made my recommendation.

The Justice Department said he requested it not be behind closed doors because he believes it's important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him, CBS2's Weijia Jiang reported.

He said he is confident that Mr Comey understood and would abide by the Justice Department's rules on communications with the White House about ongoing investigations.

Earlier, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., asked Sessions why, after recusing himself from the Russian Federation inquiry, he signed a letter last month recommending that President Trump fire Comey.

"I know what we're investigating, and he does not", Rosenstein said to Sen.

Sessions arrived knowing he would likely be questioned about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak - including an alleged third private meeting with the diplomat at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016. King, I know nothing but what I've read in the paper.

"You never asked for a briefing or attended a briefing or read the intelligence reports?" Angus King (I-ME) asked Sessions.

At 2:55 p.m., Sessions took his oath and began his opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The North Carolina Republican senator gave the update Tuesday at the beginning of an open hearing to hear testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The deputy attorney general assured the Senate Appropriations Committee that Mueller will have "full independence".

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

This will be the first time Sessions has testified in Congress since he recused himself from the Justice Department's probe into Russian meddling in last year's election and the firing of FBI Director James Comey. "So I think the best advice will be to let Robert Mueller do his job".

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