Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify in public hearing

Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the USA during the presidential campaign has sparked questions, agreed Saturday, June 10, to appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked Comey a series of questions about Sessions' involvement in the Russian Federation investigation during the two weeks between Trump expressing his "hope" that Comey could let go of the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Sessions' recusal from inquiries related to the election. While Comey did not run to tell Sessions of his concerns over what the President supposedly said about the investigation of Michael Flynn, Comey did say he asked Sessions to shield him from Mr. Trump, anxious by the President's phone calls and questions.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, it will be in a hearing that's open to the public. Mark Warner, D-Va., vice chair and ranking Democrat, jointly announced that Sessions would testify Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET "in open session".

Five days later a report emerged citing a personal memo written by Comey that added new details to the meetings. He said at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

"(Sessions) believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow", a Justice Department spokesperson said.

But intelligence committee members at first were unaware of a planned hearing.

Comey told the intelligence committee in a closed session that Sessions may have had a third, undisclosed interaction with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., according to people familiar with the briefing.

Because of Comey's testimony, Sessions says he wants to talk to the same committee Comey did. The Justice Department has denied that, saying Sessions stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies. "If, as the president said, I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation, why was the Attorney General involved in that chain?"

Sessions' appearance before the intelligence committee is an indication of just how much the Russian Federation investigation has shaded his tenure.

"The way that it was handled, with no follow-up, with no other press, with no other return to that topic, It looks like what I called a pretty light touch" Lankford also said on "Face the Nation" in reference to the February 14 conversation.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that he and the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he said he could not elaborate on.

As for the timing of Sessions' recusal, Comey said the FBI expected the attorney general to take himself out of the matters under investigation weeks before he actually did.

  • Audrey Hill