Jeff Sessions hearing on Russia, Comey

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., jointly announced that Sessions would testify on new developments Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET "in open session".

Sessions sought to pre-empt questions from the panel about conversations with President Donald Trump regarding the Russian Federation investigation or the May 9 firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Follow the livestream here and keep up with our liveblog below.

"I can not and will not violate my duty to protect the confidential communications I had with the president", Sessions said in his opening statement.

His appearance on Capitol Hill marked the second time in two weeks that public testimony on Russia's alleged meddling in American democracy had kept Washington spellbound. The president said he is willing to testify under oath on these points.

Asked Monday if the White House thought Sessions should invoke executive privilege to avoid answering questions about his conversations with Trump, presidential spokesman Sean Spicer replied, "It depends on the scope of the questions".

Mr Comey said that, after an encounter with President Donald Trump in which he said Mr Trump pressured him to back off an investigation into the former national security adviser, Mr Comey "implored" Mr Sessions to make sure he was never left alone with the president again - but that Mr Sessions did not respond. I am following the historic policies on the Department of Justice. "Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected with the Trump campaign", Sessions said. He said he didn't recall whether he'd had a third meeting with the Russian ambassador, in addition to the original two he initially failed to report.

"I do not" Sessions said when asked whether he knows whether the president records his conversations.

For example, Comey testified that Sessions lingered in the oval office on February 14, before leaving Comey alone with the president.

Sessions maintained that he had not been briefed on the Russian Federation investigation between the time of his February swearing-in and his March 2 recusal.

Sessions in March stepped aside from the federal investigation into contacts between Russian Federation and the presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice a year ago with Kislyak.

It it appeared as though Sessions had consulted with a legal team - at the Department of Justice or the White House Counsel's Office - and burning that much time at the hearing without revealing any private conversations with the president had to be viewed as a victory.

Sessions' testimony suggested that it would be on Comey to shut down inappropriate discussions with Trump.

Sessions said on Tuesday he did not recuse himself because he felt he was a subject of the investigation himself but rather because he felt he was required to by Justice Department rules. Mr Sessions - like every government employee - has an obligation to answer to the oversight of Congress.

Sessions, a longtime senator from Alabama before becoming part of Trump's cabinet this year, was clearly irritated by suggestions that he was in any way involved in a Russian effort to interfere with the 2016 election.

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