Sessions to testify before Senate intelligence panel

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions told Congress Saturday (June 10) that he would testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday about issues related to Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

The appearance before the Senate intelligence committee comes one week after former FBI Director Comey cryptically told lawmakers the bureau had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did from an investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

It later came out in closed session questioning that Sessions had yet another meeting with Russian ambassador to the USA and purported spymaster Sergey Kislyak.

Sessions originally was scheduled to appear before House and Senate appropriations subcommittees this week.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and another member of the Judiciary Committee, said both Sessions and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch should appear.

Sessions recused himself from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice a year ago with the Russian ambassador to the US. During his January confirmation hearing he failed to disclose meetings he held with Russian officials.

Later, Sessions acknowledged he had had two meetings with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

She said Sessions should also testify before the Judiciary Committee, because it was better suited to explore legal questions of possible obstruction.

The 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 in the letter.

The Justice Department has said that while Sessions was there, for a speech by Trump, there were no meetings or private encounters. Lankford is on the intelligence committee, the forum for last week's riveting Comey testimony and Tuesday's hearing.

Comey delivered a scathing testimony Thursday at the highly anticipated Senate hearing, saying Trump sought to derail a probe into onetime national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Asked Monday if the White House thought Sessions should invoke executive privilege to avoid answering questions about his conversations with Trump, presidential spokesman Sean Spicer replied, "It depends on the scope of the questions".

In written testimony Comey said he told Sessions it was "inappropriate" for him to leave the Federal Bureau of Investigation director alone with the president, and that Sessions "did not reply". But federal investigators have not confirmed the meeting happened, and the Justice Department has denied it occurred.

WYDEN: Let me turn to the attorney general.

An early backer of Trump, Sessions recused himself from the DOJ investigation during the early days of the administration. We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an opening setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.

  • Zachary Reyes