Sessions to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee

Sessions, one of the earliest high-profile supporters of Trump's election campaign, agreed Saturday to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the election.

Sessions will also likely be asked about his role in Comey's firing, about his recollection of a meeting in which President Donald Trump asked for him to leave the room and for his subordinate - Comey - to stay, and about reports that he recently offered Trump his resignation.

In addition, he's likely to be questioned about meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his involvement in the president's decision to fire Comey.

In a letter on Saturday to Senator Richard Shelby Mr Sessions said that he had been scheduled to discuss the Justice Department budget before House and Senate Appropriations sub-committees but that it had become clear some members would focus their questions on the Russian Federation investigation.

In explaining the cancellation, Sessions writes that he believed that members of the committees were planning on asking him about "issues related to the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election".

"The Senate intelligence committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters, as it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information", he added.

Mr Shelby chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee.

In a letter Saturday, Sessions said he would appear before the committee on Tuesday in light of last week's testimony by former FBI Director James Comey.

Comey said the FBI became "aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting, that would make (Sessions') continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic".

Sessions, who heads the Justice Department - under which the FBI falls - had been forced to recuse himself from any Russian investigations due to his own interactions with Russian officials before Trump's January 20 inauguration.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein will take Sessions' place before the appropriations panels. "The Washington Post and USA Today report that Sessions' appearance is expected to be closed".

During almost three hours of testimony Thursday, Comey indicated to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that leaders at the Federal Bureau of Investigation were aware of questionable activities by Sessions.

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  • Larry Hoffman