Sessions calls allegations of collusion with Russia appalling
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 7:58
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday vehemently denied any collusion with Russian Federation to tilt last year's election in Donald Trump's favor, branding the suggestion an "appalling and detestable lie".
The exchange raises questions about why Sessions, who showed little interest in Russian Federation while he was a senator, met with Kislyak at all during the election.
"I don't think that's a question for me to answer", Rosenstein responded. "You're impeding this investigation", Heinrich said.
Former FBI Director James Comey testified earlier before the same Senate intelligence committee claiming he knew of reasons why it would be problematic for Sessions to remain involved in the Russian Federation investigation, even before he recused himself. Sessions previously offered to resign because of tensions with Trump over his recusal decision.
Trump has recently expressed frustration with Sessions, who has come under pressure over his own Russian Federation contacts. You - this is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it, and I tried to give my best and truthful answers to any committee I've appeared before, and it's really people sort of suggesting innuendo that I have been not honest about matters, and I've tried to be honest. "DOJ traditionally does not discuss ongoing investigations in public, but ultimately must answer questions unless executive privilege is properly invoked and upheld". Sessions requested an open hearing, though he made clear in his opening remarks and several times during his testimony that there were some things he would not discuss, including confidential conversations with the president. Days after that, Sessions also corrected his confirmation hearing testimony to inform the committee about the two meetings with Kislyak.
Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump are not likely to file their planned complaint this week against former FBI Director James Comey over disclosing details about conversations with the president, a spokesman for Trump's legal team said on Tuesday.
Heinrich: "Because you're invoking executive privilege?".
"I did not have any private meetings, nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel".
The committee's chairman, Republican Richard Burr, told Sessions the hearing was "your opportunity to separate fact from fiction" and "set the record straight on a number of allegations reported in the press".
Sessions said he met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, once at last year's Republican National Convention and later in his Senate office, but neither time about Trump's campaign, but rather in his capacity as a USA senator at the time before Trump nominated him as the country's top law enforcement official. "Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected with the Trump campaign".
Sessions is the most senior member of Trump's administration caught up in the Russian Federation controversy.
ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: What is the question? Sessions says he was there for a speech by then-candidate Donald Trump and members of Sessions' staff were also in attendance. Sessions's recusal came the day after The Post reported the first two meetings, but Sessions said he was already talking with lawyers about whether his Trump campaign work would force him to hand over the Russian Federation investigation to his deputy.
"It is absurd, frankly, to suggestion a recusal from a single specific investigation would render an attorney general unable to manage the leadership of the various Department of Justice law enforcement components that conduct thousands of investigations", Sessions said.
At a separate hearing Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein declared he'd seen no basis for dismissing Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director he appointed as special counsel after Sessions' recusal.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he never had conversations with FBI Director James Comey about his job performance before Comey's firing.
And that boss, Jeff Sessions, also promised Tuesday not to get involved in any firing.
However Democrat Congressman Jim Langevin said Sessions fell short of the standard of evidence required at such a hearing. This created many negative headlines, which is why many assumed that Mr Sessions swiftly recused himself from the probe into Russia's interference in the election.
"No", Comey said. "Not with President Trump". Sheldon Whitehouse, the top Democrat on a subcommittee of the Judiciary panel, said: "As someone who served in the Department of Justice, I would love to know what he is talking about".