US Attorney General says he'll address Senate on Comey's allegations against Trump
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 15, 2017,
Jun 15, 2017, 9:03
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has confirmed that he will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week to testify over his dealings with Russian officials, the media reported.
Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Sessions said that he had been scheduled to discuss the Justice Department budget before House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees but that it had become clear some members would focus their questions on the Russian Federation investigation.
Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US during the presidential campaign has sparked questions, agreed Saturday, June 10, to appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election.
Sessions originally was scheduled to appear before House and Senate appropriations subcommittees this week.
"Some members have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference into Russian interference in the 2016 election, " his letter said.
Sessions recused himself from overseeing the federal Russia probe three months ago after The Washington Post reported on a pair of undisclosed meetings Sessions had during the campaign with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, will appear in place of Sessions at the budget review.
"The Department of Justice appointed special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter", said department spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores, referring to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the department's Russian Federation probe.
Senate Democrats have raised the possibility that Sessions and Kislyak could have met there, though Justice Department officials say there were no private encounters or side meetings.
Trump's aides have dodged questions about whether conversations relevant to the Russian Federation investigation have been recorded, and so has the president.
Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday that he couldn't discuss the "problematic" reason why the FBI believed Sessions would have to recuse himself from the investigation.
During almost three hours of testimony last week, Comey cryptically told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had "additional facts" about Sessions he could "not discuss in an open setting".
Shelby chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee.
Whether that hearing will be public or closed is not known.
"There's a question of his [Sessions'] participation in the firing of [former FBI] director Comey", Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island said on Fox News Sunday.
At the conclusion of a February 14 meeting in the White House, Comey testified, Trump urged everyone else but Comey to leave the Oval Office, including Sessions. WYDEN: How would you characterize Attorney General Sessions's adherence to his recusal?
WYDEN: Let me turn to the attorney general. Feinstein said she was especially concerned after National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers refused to answer questions from the intelligence committee about possible undue influence by Trump.
"In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey's recent testimony", the attorney general wrote in a letter Sen.