Jeff Sessions testifies: What to expect from Tuesday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

Mark Wilson  Getty Images

Mark Wilson Getty Images

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has confirmed that he will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week to testify over his dealings with Russian officials, the media reported. His recusal announcement came days after it was revealed that he met with the Russian ambassador to the USA on at least two occasions in 2016. Sessions, an early Trump supporter, recused himself in March from oversight of the FBI's probe into possible cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russians when his meetings with Kislyak became known.

In his confirmation hearing, Sessions testified that he did not have "communications" with the Russians during the presidential campaign.

The department has repeatedly and vociferously denied that there was a third meeting, which press reports suggest could have occurred at a Russia-friendly foreign policy address given by Trump at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016. Instead, he will send Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to those hearings to discuss budget matters, Sessions wrote in letters to the chairmen of the subcommittees.

The Senate Judiciary Committee had rejected Sessions' federal judgeship nomination in 1986 after it was alleged that as a federal prosecutor, Sessions had called a black attorney "boy" and had said organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union were un-American. "I think it's a reasonable question".

-Feinstein acknowledged she "would have a queasy feeling, too" if Comey's testimony was true that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation.

Pressure mounted at the start of the week following reports that Sessions offered his resignation to Trump because the President blamed Sessions for exacerbating his Russian Federation problems by recusing himself from the probe.

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about Ruddy's claims.

But Sessions himself wanted the hearing to be public, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

Trump on Monday chaired the first meeting of his full Cabinet, saying the team is here to "change Washington".

Mr. Comey's testimony last week sparked new theories about the reason for Mr. Sessions' recusal from the Justice investigation, which now is being overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller. We'll see whether the President stands back, or leans forward on Russian Federation this coming week. Are you aware of any White House tapes that exist? So far no major legislation has made its way through Congress.

To accommodate schedules, the hearing will be held at the normal time that the Senate Intelligence panel meets each Tuesday. "Totally illegal - very cowardly". Trump "should voluntarily turn them over", Collins said.

According to Comey's testimony, the others in the room, all of whom were asked to leave before the Flynn conversation, included Vice President Mike Pence; Gina Haspel, the deputy director of the CIA; Nicholas J. Rasmussen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, now the secretary of Homeland Security. Was there active collusion between the two during last year's campaign? It ruled based on immigration law, not the Constitution. Trump warpath, part one: The president has.

Much of the case is focused on allegations that Trump's real estate and business holdings violate a little-known emoluments clause of the Constitution.

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    Tuesday's hearing may also throw new light on the awkward state of the relationship between Trump and Sessions. I think it is a reasonable question.

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