The decision to testify publicly, according to a Justice Department spokeswoman, is because “he believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him”.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said “there’s a real question of the propriety” of Sessions’ involvement in Comey’s dismissal, because Sessions had stepped aside from the federal investigation into contacts between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
Questions have arisen about Sessions’ own involvement in the Trump campaign and his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US.
Sessions, who was confirmed as attorney general earlier this year, was first criticized for not disclosing during his Senate confirmation hearing that he had been in contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Democrats said Sessions needs to resolve conflicting evidence about contacts with Russians and to explain if and why he recommended Comey’s firing by Trump, an action that could be a violation of his recusal.
And yet Sessions took a huge action on May 9: He signed a letter, with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, recommending that Trump fire Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.
Trump has denied Comey’s version of events.
Despite the report, White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday in response to a question from a reporter that Trump “absolutely” has confidence in Sessions.
The hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET Tuesday.
Senator Patrick Leahy, the Senate appropriations committee’s top Democrat and a member of the Senate judiciary committee, tartly reminded Sessions that both oversee his department.
With James Comey’s testimony in the rear view mirror, Congress looks toward trying to move forward this week on one of the more traditional aspects of their job – budget hearings. Lankford is on the intelligence committee, the forum for last week’s riveting Comey testimony and Tuesday’s hearing.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will now turn his attention to his testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Lawmakers have already aired many of their concerns about their former colleague – from his meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.to his role in the firing of Comey.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says the White House and President Donald Trump should let the special counsel’s investigation continue, and await vindication.
There is no doubt senators on the committee have been preparing for his testimony, but here are the questions to Sessions that will be critical in determining his fate.
Trump’s allies have begun raising questions about special counsel Robert Mueller’s impartiality – he’s a former FBI director who has worked with fired FBI Director James Comey – and floating the idea that Trump might replace him.
It later came out in closed session questioning that Sessions had yet another meeting with Russian ambassador to the USA and purported spymaster Sergey Kislyak.
On “Fox & Friends” Monday, Conway noted Comey’s testimony that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama’s attorney general, directed him to describe the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as a “matter” and to avoid calling it an investigation. He also refused to say whether Trump had ever expressed frustration with his decision to recuse himself.
As for the timing of Sessions’ recusal, Comey said the FBI expected the attorney general to take himself out of the matters under investigation weeks before he actually did.
“It is really unclear what he is going to say, and I am a little bit surprised because in the past, he has gotten into trouble when he said things and they turned out not to be entirely true”, said Jens Ohlin, a professor of law at Cornell University. Back on January 10, Sessions said, “I did not have communications with the Russians” – but the story wasn’t so simple.