AG Sessions will testify in open hearing before Senate Intelligence Committee

Cheryl Sanders
June 13, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions steps back into a familiar arena Tuesday when he testifies before the Senate intelligence committee about his role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation.

Sessions is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 EST.

It will be the first sworn public testimony from Sessions, a longtime former senator, since he was nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed as the nation's top law enforcement officer in February.

Democratic lawmakers are skeptical that Sessions will divulge any explosive new details, especially since the attorney general could assert executive privilege regarding any questions about conversations with the president.

The committee has not confirmed the Tuesday date for Sessions' testimony and are still discussing whether to allow him to testify in open or closed session, or both, as former FBI Director James Comey did last week. Sessions is expected to face sharp questioning from his former Senate colleagues about his role in the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

- Third Sessions-Russia meeting?

Justice officials have strongly denied that such a meeting occurred.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Mr Sessions requested the open setting because "he believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him". Charles Schumer of NY, the Senate's top Democrat.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, an intelligence committee member, said senators were still deciding whether Sessions would be asked to testify in a classified briefing after the public hearing.

"I think it depends on the scope of the questions", Spicer said.

"To get to a hypothetical at this point would be premature", he added.

President Donald Trump will be touring a technical school in Wisconsin Tuesday as part of his push to boost jobs by increasing apprenticeships.

"It's really when those elements come together that the country has seen the best results", Reed Cordish, a presidential aide on intragovernmental and technology issues, said in a conference call with reporters. "We've obviously pressed the White House", he said.

They said Trump did not collude with Russian Federation and see the investigation as a politically motivated sham handicapping Trump's ability to execute his agenda, according to one person advising the White House on how to handle the probe.

And then an ally of President Donald Trump suggested the President is thinking about firing the special counsel investigating the Russian Federation issue.

A third area of vulnerability for Sessions also arose from the Comey hearing.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the White House on March 27, 2017.

"As the participants started to leave the Oval Office, the attorney general lingered by my chair but the president thanked him and said he wanted to speak only with me", Comey wrote in his statement. The former director did not elaborate in public on the nature of the information.

A Trump confidant, Chris Ruddy, told "PBS NewsHour" on Monday that the president was weighing whether to fire the special counsel now heading up the investigation, former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

"I have a recollection of him just kind of looking at me", Comey testified.

Trump has been coy about whether any recordings exist of his private conversations with Comey, who was sacked by the president in May. They also emphasized Comey's admission that he arranged to have contents of his memos leaked to the news media.

"I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible".

Other reports by iNewsToday