Sessions vows to defend himself against 'false allegations'

US attorney general to face questions on Comey firing Russia

US attorney general to face questions on Comey firing Russia

Attorney General Jeff Sessions in his Senate testimony tomorrow will look to neutralize fired FBI Director James B. Comey's suggestions that President Trump meddled in an investigation of Russian collusion, analysts say, while also lifting suspicion over his past meetings with lightning-rod Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

It was unclear yesterday if Sessions' testimony will happen in a public or closed session.

At a separate hearing Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein declared he'd seen no basis for dismissing Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director he appointed as special counsel after Sessions' recusal. And he declared it a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest he was aware of or took part in any collusion between Russian Federation and the election campaign that sent Trump to the White House.

Trump kept the heat on Comey yesterday, accusing him of "cowardly" leaks and predicting many more.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.

Sessions, the former Senator from Alabama, said Russian interference with America's democratic processes can never be tolerated. Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Comey; Comey said last week that "lordy" he hopes there are. Preet Bharara told ABC's "This Week" that Trump was trying to "cultivate some kind of relationship" with him when he called him twice before the inauguration to "shoot the breeze".

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of OR aggressively asked Sessions about suggestions arising from Comey's testimony last week that there was something "problematic" about his recusal. But: "I think there's absolutely evidence to begin a case". Feinstein is the top Democrat on that panel and a member of both.

If the event is an open hearing, Sessions's appearance would be the second Big Day before the Senate committee in as many weeks.

Feinstein said she did not necessarily believe Trump was unfit for office, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asserted, but said he has a "destabilizing effect" on government. "Doing policy by tweets is really a shakeup for us, because there's no justification presented". He said he never met with, or had conversations with, Russians about election interference.

Sessions' testimony did not provide any damaging new information on Trump campaign ties with Russian Federation or on Comey's dismissal, but his refusal to discuss conversations with Trump raised fresh questions about whether the White House has something to hide. Feinstein said the Judiciary Committee should investigate.

The attorney general recused himself from the probe into Russian election meddling after it was discovered he did not disclose two meetings he had with Russian Ambassador Segey Kislyak during his confirmation hearing.

He also said Comey should have shared his concerns about the Trump conversation with another Justice Department official, Dana Boente, who was then acting deputy attorney general, and would have been Comey's direct supervisor.

Collins and Feinstein spoke on CNN's "State of the Union and Lankford and Schumer appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation".

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