Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to testify in public Tuesday amid Russian Federation probe

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in public session at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee for its ongoing probe into Russia's interference in last year's presidential election.

"He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him", said Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

In addition to the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia's role in USA politics, special counsel Robert Mueller is leading an independent inquiry into Russia's meddling and potential links between Russians and the Trump campaign, after being appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last month.

Another key question facing Sessions is whether he violated his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation by recommending the firing of the man leading it: James Comey.

Sessions' testimony comes less than a week after Comey's explosive account before the same panel in which he asserted that President Trump fired him in order to derail the bureau's wide-ranging investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

"Public needs to know more about Sessions' Russia contacts & his role in Comey's firing", tweeted Sen.

The hearing will bring contentious questioning for Sessions and likely some uncomfortable moments for the Trump administration.

Asked about Trump's own contention that the president fired Comey with the Russian Federation probe in mind, and regardless of any recommendation from anyone else, Sessions said: "I guess I'll just have to let his words speak for themselves. More than 20 million people watched Comey's testimony last week, and they should not be blocked from participating in democracy this week".

What did Sessions say, she asked - how did he respond? "And when asked I said that to the president". In addition to his testimony, the fate of special counsel Robert Mueller is also in the air.

But his testimony will be a dramatic sequel to the fired FBI chief's tour de force that twisted a knife in President Donald Trump's administration over the Russian Federation investigation and still has Washington buzzing. On Wednesday last week, the heads of the top intelligence agencies and the deputy attorney general declined to answer key questions for various reasons. Sessions could be asked about that part of Comey's testimony as well as his role in Comey's firing last month.

CNN previously reported that congressional investigators are examining whether Sessions had an additional private meeting with the Russian ambassador in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

Senators are expected to hone in on Comey's recounting of a February 14 White House meeting where Trump pressed the director to drop the FBI's inquiry into national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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. Whether executive privilege is invoked "depends on the scope of the questions", White House spokesperson Sean Spicer told reporters on Monday.

On Monday, in a unusual photo op, members of Trump's Cabinet lavished praise on the President, who has struggled to extricate himself from the Russian Federation cloud over his White House.

"Why don't you tell me?"

It was not immediately clear if those matters are what will be discussed with the Attorney General on Tuesday.

Tuesday's hearing may also throw new light on the awkward state of the relationship between Trump and Sessions.

Other reports by iNewsToday