Jeff Sessions Testifies He Never Discussed Election With Russians

Sessions, a former Republican US senator and an early supporter of Trump's presidential campaign, is expected to be asked to explain why he told senators in January that he had no dealings with Russian officials past year while serving as an adviser to candidate Trump.

"I'm not able to invoke executive privilege, that's the President's preoperative", Sessions reiterated. Comey's decision to announce past year that Clinton would not be prosecuted over her emails was a "usurpation" of the Justice Department's authority, Sessions said.

Democratic Sen Ron Wyden of OR asked Mr Sessions about suggestions arising from Mr Comey's testimony last week that there was something "problematic" about his recusal. National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, both declined to discuss their own Trump communications during a hearing last week.

Angus King asked a number of questions about the basis for Sessions' refusal to answer questions.

As a longtime senator from Alabama, Sessions will be granted some degree of deference, at least from Republicans. Some say he perjured himself.

Sessions raised his voice to the Democratic senator pressing him for an answer, insisting there were no such reasons. It later was revealed he met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, once as a senator and once as Trump's adviser before the inauguration.

Lawmakers for weeks have demanded answers from Sessions, particularly about meetings he had last summer and fall with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

He also alleged to have never conversed with Comey about his job performance prior to his firing.

When the Democrat tried to continue his line of question, Sessions, who has faced persistent allegations that he is somehow involved in possible collusion with Russian Federation, interrupted to further defend himself.

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. Sessions's recusal came the day after The Post reported the first two meetings, but Sessions said he was already talking with lawyers about whether his Trump campaign work would force him to hand over the Russian Federation investigation to his deputy.

Wyden and Sessions were discussing the attorney general's decision to sign the letter recommending President Donald Trump fire Comey.

Rosenstein said that if the president ordered him to fire the special counsel handling the Russian Federation investigation, he would only comply if the request was "lawful and appropriate".

But: Sessions also said he thought Comey should be fired.

"You recused yourself from the Russian Federation investigation", Democratic Senator Mark Warner said in his prepared remarks.

Democrats were unhappy with Sessions declining to testify about his discussions with Trump. On June 5, he tweeted that the Justice Department "should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted" to the Supreme Court.

Sessions' appearance comes less than a week after Comey testified before the same panel Thursday for the first time before Congress since Mr. Trump fired him as Federal Bureau of Investigation director on May 9.

Trump ignored questions on the matter shouted from the media Tuesday. Sessions says he was there for a speech by then-candidate Donald Trump and members of Sessions' staff also were there. "What are they?" Wyden had asked. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "At this point, I believe it's premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege". Since Sessions is recused from these matters, he would likely would send such a recommendation to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested Tuesday that questions about Mueller were sparked by a "rumor that's not happening" and causing a "debate that is not occurring".

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