Sessions denies third meeting with Russian Federation envoy

Ousted FBI director James Comey listens during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill

Ousted FBI director James Comey listens during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill

He would not say that he was ordered out of the room as Comey testified last week.

Ahead of the hearing there had been suggestions that Sessions might have had a third, unreported, encounter with Kislyak, at the Mayflower Hotel in April 2016, where candidate Trump was giving his first major foreign policy speech.

"I recused myself not because of any assertive wrongdoing or any belief that I may have been involved in any wrongdoing in the campaign but because of a Department of Justice regulation ... that regulation states in effect that a Department employee should not participate in investigations of a campaign if they served as a campaign advisor", Sessions told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a hearing on Tuesday. But the revelations forced Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation in March.

He said he recused himself from the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation to require the step because of his involvement in the Trump campaign. An order from the president would not necessarily qualify, he said. He also said he hasn't spoken to special counsel Robert Mueller about the Russian investigation. She said such a move would "destroy any shred of trust in the president's judgment that remains over here".

Feinstein also asked if Rosenstein had an estimate for how long the investigation will take.

"This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me and I don't appreciate it".

"I do not" Sessions said when asked whether he knows whether the president records his conversations. Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) grilled him about "impeding this investigation" by declining to answer questions, Sen.

Federal Election Commission records indicate that some members of Mueller's team have made political donations to Democrats, according to a CNN report.

Asked if he had confidence in Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to lead the Russian Federation investigation, Mr Sessions replied: "I have confidence in Mr Mueller but I am not going to discuss any hypotheticals", noting that he was not involved in the Russian Federation investigation. "And when asked I said that to the president".

That includes the man who hired the special counsel and would have to do the firing. But: Sessions also said he thought Comey should be fired.

Under questioning from Sen.

Comey referred frequently to the attorney general, and included the tantalizing tidbit that there were "facts that I can't discuss in an open setting". Trump was not, Sessions said.

What he and president Trump discussed concerning Comey's firing and the Russian investigation.

He said that, since his recusal, he had never been given information or details about the Russian Federation investigation.

In Sessions' own Senate testimony, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Maine's Angus King, I-Maine, but no real damage was done. Richard Burr thanks Attorney General Jeff Sessions for appearing before the Committee. I explained how, in good faith, I said I had not met with Russians, because they were suggesting that I, as a surrogate, had been meeting continuously with Russians.

Mentioning reports on Sessions' meeting with the Russian ambassador at the Mayflower Hotel a year ago, Cotton asked if Sessions was familiar with "what spies call tradecraft" and "things like covert communications and dead drops".

Rosenstein repeatedly conveyed his support for Mueller's role at a Senate hearing, held the morning after a close friend of President Donald Trump was quoted in a television interview as saying he was considering dismissing Mueller. White House frustrations with the Justice Department spilled into public view last week, when Trump on Twitter criticized the legal strategy in defending his proposed travel ban.

Ryan said the smartest thing for the president to do would be to let the investigation continue and be vindicated.

"I know what we're investigating, and he does not", Rosenstein said to Sen. "I have confidence in Bob Mueller". Shelby chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee.

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