Sessions wants his testimony open to public

Cheryl Sanders
June 13, 2017

The Senate's Russian Federation probe will hit a new level of intensity Tuesday when Attorney General Jeff Sessions becomes the highest-ranking official to testify - in what Senate Intelligence Committee leaders confirmed will be an open hearing, in the spirit of last week's dramatic session with James Comey.

Sessions had been scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Senate Appropriations Committee to review funding for the Justice Department, which he heads.

It was unclear yesterday if Sessions' testimony will happen in a public or closed session. While Comey was a witness scorned by President Trump and ready to dish on the leader who fired him, Sessions remains the top law enforcement official in the country, working for Trump's administration.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, a member of the Intelligence committee, sent a letter to Sen.

"You may be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet, would clear you", Graham said on CBS. Committee member Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, told reporters on Monday, "I think the sooner we can put some of the myths, rumors gossip behind us, the better we are". "We've obviously pressed the White House", he said.

Of special interest will be Comey's assertion that he told Sessions after the meeting that he never again wanted to be left alone with the president. It's part of an escalating investigation into charges that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 elections.

Hopefully he won't say that he's unable to answer questions in a public setting, like those before him.

He recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice a year ago with the ambassador.

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. "Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'"

Schumer invited Trump to testify under oath before the Senate and he urged Trump to produce any tapes of his conversations with Comey. But, added Lankford, "releasing his memos is not damaging to national security".

President Donald Trump is planning to hold a campaign-style rally later this month in Iowa.

Having learned members of the subcommittee had planned to inquire about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Sessions decided it would be more appropriate to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee instead.

Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. Sessions hadn't recused himself from the Russian Federation probe at that point, although Comey said he believed at the time that the attorney general would do so soon.

Comey in his explosive hearing declined to comment on some of the more salacious and heinous allegations around the president - allegations that are more central to the investigation now led by Robert Mueller - he did make some pretty damning claims.

What channel: CSPAN, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News will be broadcasting the hearing live.

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