His voice rising, Sessions fired back on any suggestion that he may have been involved in any coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign – now the focus of the federal investigation into Russian interference in the election. “I was your colleague in this body for 20 years, and the suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process is an appalling and detestable lie”.
He denied having any private meetings with Russian officials in the course of supporting Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The AG forcefully denied meeting with Kislyak at the hotel. If he did have a conversation with the ambassador, it was “certainly nothing improper”.
Throughout the testimony, which is addressing several of the controversies that have followed Sessions from his tenure as a USA senator from Alabama to his position as the head of the Department of Justice, the attorney general pushed back against suggestions that he engaged in additional meetings with Kislyak or committed perjury during his confirmation hearing.
Since then, questions have been raised about a possible third meeting at a Washington hotel, though the Justice Department has said that did not happen.
Ron Wyden aggressively questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions on just what former FBI Director James Comey thought was “problematic” about Sessions that would ultimately lead to his recusal in the federal Russian Federation probe.
Media reports last week said Mr Sessions offered to resign because of tensions with Mr Trump over his decision to recuse himself from the FBI’s Russian Federation probe.
Sessions refused to say whether he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Trump, arguing that he could not disclose private communications with the president.
At one point, Sen. It was later revealed that Sessions met with Kislyak on at least two occasions, meetings he has differentiated by noting they came in the course of his duties as a senator, not as a surrogate of the campaign.
“I am not stonewalling”, Sessions said. “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”. Sessions said it did not.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for the DOJ policy Sessions cited during the hearing.
However, Sessions refused to say whether he ever spoke with Trump about firing Comey.
Sessions confirmed Comey’s account, but placed less emphasis on the Trump-Comey meeting.
McConnell told reporters Tuesday that “I have a lot of confidence in Bob Mueller”. There are none, Sen.
“This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me and I don’t appreciate it“, he added.
Asked about Trump’s own contention that the president fired Comey with the Russian Federation probe in mind, and regardless of any recommendation from anyone else, Sessions said: “I guess I’ll just have to let his words speak for themselves”. The attorney general indicated that he agreed with the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director on the matter.
A couple hours later, Sessions was singing a somewhat different tune.
“I’m not able to invoke executive privilege, that’s the President’s preoperative”, Sessions reiterated.
Critics charged that by firing Mr Comey on 9 May, Mr Trump was trying to hinder the FBI’s Russian Federation probe and the ex-FBI chief added fuel to that accusation with his testimony last week.
The deputy attorney general assured the Senate Appropriations Committee that Mueller will have “full independence”. Jeanne Shaheen. She asked about news reports suggesting that President Donald Trump was already thinking about “terminating” Robert Mueller from his position as special counsel.
The attorney general said he never heard any suggestions during the campaign that Russian Federation was somehow interfering to help Trump defeat his Democratic challenger, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He described Mueller as operating independently from the Justice Department in his investigation.
“I know how this will be discussed, but that’s the rule that’s been long adhered to by Department of Justice, as you know, Sen”.
“If there were good cause, I would consider it”, Rosenstein testified. Rosenstein wrote a memo to Sessions on Comey, which was then used by the administration to justify firing the director for his handling of the Clinton case. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked Sessions whether Trump records his conversations in the White House. “And I think your silence, like the silence of [Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates], like the silence of [NSA Director Mike Rogers], speaks volumes”. He later noted that it was up to Mueller to determine whether the issue might be part of his investigation, and he thought Mueller “ought to review that”.
“Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong”, he said, stressing this was not the case. “Maybe it’s because multiple Democrats on this committee have stated that they have seen no evidence, thus far, after six months of our investigation and eleven months of an FBI investigation of any such collusion”, Cotton said. “I was taken aback by explosive allegations”. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii.).