Sessions says he long had concerns over Comey
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 22:14
A top aide to President Donald Trump suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller is biased even as the White House worked to end a day of speculation over whether the president is considering firing the head of the Russian Federation probe.
The MSNBC guest continued by underlining that "the statute for the special counsel - really important for viewers to understand this - says the special counsel can only be triggered if there's an underlying criminal probe". President Trump's campaign colluding with the Russians. Warren said she is looking forward to finding out more about Sessions' role in Comey's firing, although the White House suggested Sessions could invoke executive privilege during his testimony depending on "the scope of the questions". He never, he insisted, knew anything about the Russian Federation probe or had any role in it. "If there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says".
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 would Comey think Sessions was going to recuse himself?
It comes as political intrigue pulses through the United States capital following explosive testimony by Comey before the same panel last week, and as Trump has expressed frustrations with Sessions, one of his earliest high-profile campaign backers. The interview took place several days before Rosenstein picked Mueller as special counsel for the Russian Federation probe, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the interview, which was was first reported by PBS.
"I don't think it compromises sources or methods or in any way harms America's position in the world, so we'll start with that", Wyden said.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., jointly announced that Sessions would testify on new developments Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET "in open session".
He recused himself from the federal probe in March after acknowledging that he met twice previous year with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
The comment came in response to questions from Democratic Sen.
Rosenstein said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify. This was after a February meeting in which Comey said Trump told Sessions and others to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.
After a round of cancellations and legal wrangling over the weekend, Attorney General Jeff Sessions agreed to testify in public Tuesday afternoon before the Senate Intelligence Committee. And leading Republican legislators on Tuesday waved off the idea of firing Mueller, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying that his advice was to "let Robert Mueller do his job" and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voicing confidence in the special counsel.
Rosenstein testified that he is the only one who has the authority to fire Mueller, who was appointed following the May 9 ousting of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and that he had seen no good cause to do so. However, the Washington Post reported on March 1, citing Justice Department officials that Sessions - who was then an Alabama senator -spoke to Kislyak in July and September "at the height of what USA intelligence officials say was a Russian cyber campaign to upend the US presidential race".
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.
Comey testified on Thursday that he was never informed of the parameters of Sessions' recusal. Sen.
"Our judgment, as I recall, was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons".
"This is an illegitimate special counsel", Ruddy said.
A White House official downplayed Ruddy's comments, saying "Chris speaks for himself". Such a move would create a firestorm coming weeks after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
In addition to his testimony, the fate of special counsel Robert Mueller is also in the air.
Mueller, Rosenstein said, has the "full independence he needs to conduct that investigation".
Comey's testimony put a bright spotlight on a fateful Valentine's Day meeting in the Oval Office, in which Trump reportedly asked Sessions and other cabinet members to clear the room before leaning on Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, his national security adviser who resigned after just a few weeks on the job.
"Based on everything I know, this isn't close to what people believe is a real recusal!"