Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appear before Senate intelligence committee
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 17, 2017,
Jun 17, 2017, 1:47
Comey told the Senate intelligence committee in closed session that Sessions may have had a third, unreported meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, according to United States media reports.
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.
"Some members [of the appropriations committees] have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, from which I have recused, and for which the Deputy Attorney General appointed a special counsel".
Sessions had been scheduled to testify Tuesday before a joint appropriations subcommittee of Congress, but on Saturday he sent letters to the committee chairmen saying that the intelligence committee would be a better forum to answer questions about Russian Federation.
Sessions stepped aside in March after acknowledging that had met twice previous year with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
He said during his confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.
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.
"He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow", said Flores.
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. "You can't run forever", Leahy said in a Twitter message to Sessions that also referred to "false testimony" by the attorney general about his contacts with Russian officials.
Sessions is likely to be asked about his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and whether there were more encounters that should have been made public.
The letter did not say whether Mr. Sessions planned to give public testimony or to appear before the panel behind closed doors.
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". The Senate panel is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.
"I know him to be an honorable man, and I think this is just a chance for him to put all that to rest", Cornyn said.
Sessions said he would send Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, to testify about the department's budget. "Doing policy by tweets is really a shakeup for us, because there's no justification presented".
Feinstein acknowledged she "would have a queasy feeling, too" if Comey's testimony was true that Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe the FBI probe into Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation.
Information for this article was contributed by Hope Yen of The Associated Press and by Ros Krasny, Mark Niquette, Chris Strohm, Todd Shields and Ben Brody of Bloomberg News.