Jeff Sessions Testifies About The Russia Investigation

For starters, the deputy attorney general now overseeing the Russian Federation investigation, who did the hiring and would have to do the firing, assured a congressional committee he would resist an unwarranted dismissal order: "I'm not going to follow any order unless I believe they are lawful and appropriate orders".

But, more than that, if the attorney general allowed himself to be used as a pretext to give justification for a firing that was made on other grounds, that not only violates his recusal.

In particular, Sessions tamped down Comey's recounting of the February 14 meeting Comey had with Trump - where Trump reportedly asked him stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn. "I did not attend any meetings at that event separate", Sessions said. And he appeared to do that effectively in a strong opening statement, where he slammed the door shut on even the possibility that he had a third meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., asked whether Trump had expressed any frustration with Sessions about his decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation. Sessions snapped at the OR lawmaker.

The attorney general on March 2 recused himself from the FBI investigation into Russia's role in the election, saying he felt he was required to do so because he had been a prominent figure in Trump's campaign.

Comey was overseeing thousands of investigations at the time of his firing, Sessions argued, so the fact that he was recused from just one of them shouldn't mean he couldn't make a judgment call on Comey's leadership abilities. That was not so, he said.

He opened his appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee by saying he would "defend his honour against scurrilous and false allegations".

"We asked them relevant questions and they basically said "We don't feel like answering" and that's not going to be acceptable (with Sessions)", said Wyden. There are none, Sen. "This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it".

During his questions, Cotton noted there's still no public evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign actively colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

He may also face questions about comments by Trump confidant Chris Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax, who suggested Monday that the president was considering firing Mueller, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to lead the FBI's Russian Federation probe. "He was preparing for the stop here today", said Sanders.

The attorney general, who recommended Comey be fired, declined to discuss his conversations with the president on the subject, citing a "longstanding policy" that Justice officials not comment on such private discussions. Rodman is one of few people to have met both North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

He said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify.

What happened when Sessions left the room, and Trump allegedly pressed Comey to end an investigation?

"If there were good cause I would consider it", said Mr Rosenstein.

Wyden said Monday that Sessions hasn't engaged in anything close to a real recusal.

After that meeting, Comey said, he told Sessions he did not want to be left alone with Trump, because he didn't think it was appropriate for the president and the Federal Bureau of Investigation director to have such private meetings. "I'm not sure what was in his mind specifically".

Rumors have since circulated that the president may seek to sack special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to head the high-stakes investigation following Comey's ouster.

Trump has been publicly dismissive of the Russian Federation investigation for months.

On another hot-button issue, Sen. "Rubio, probably so", Sessions added, when Rubio asked whether any such tapes would have to be preserved. "Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected with the Trump campaign".

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