Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT), has the potential for high drama as the Russian Federation probe continues to dominate US politics, sidelining President Donald Trump’s domestic agenda.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions didn’t answer a number of questions from senators during his testimony on Tuesday – but he didn’t invoke executive privilege to avoid doing so.
Sessions says he did not have third meeting with the Russian ambassador to the United States. “I have no knowledge of any conversations held along those lines by anybody in the Trump campaign”.
“I walked away from this being highly concerned that there now seems to be a concerted effort by the administration to obstruct this investigation”, Heinrich said on “OutFront”.
Testifying at a Senate hearing, Mr Sessions said it was a “detestable and appalling lie” to suggest that he participated in or was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
Sessions said it would be “absurd” to suggest that a recusal from a single investigation would render him unable to manage the leadership of the FBI. But he refused to discuss the reports “because I know nothing about the investigation”. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., announced that the hearing would be public.
SESSIONS: You might have been very critical if I as an active part of the campaign was seeking intelligence relating to something that might be relevant to the campaign. “I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice” on private discussions with the White House.
“You raised your right hand here today and said you would solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”, Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich said. I am concerned that the president still does not recognize the severity of the threat.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters later that Trump thought Sessions “did a very good job” and was especially “strong” on denying any collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian Federation.
US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions could not have been any clearer on his position on the issue of collusion. Days after that, Sessions also corrected his confirmation hearing testimony to inform the committee about his two meetings with Kislyak.
Mr Sessions acknowledged he met Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak twice, but suggested he could not remember whether he met the envoy at a foreign policy speech event for then-candidate Mr Trump at the Mayflower Hotel on 27 April 2016, as U.S. media have reported. I did not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador.
“I told the AG that what had just happened ― him being asked to leave while the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, who reports to the AG, remained behind ― was inappropriate and should never happen”, Comey said. Mr Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Mr Comey.
Sessions is the highest-ranking official to be called to testify in the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Russian hackers and the Trump presidential campaign.
The Justice Department subsequently released decades-old memos from its Office of Legal Counsel that it said supported Sessions’ position.
Sessions said he was, indeed, “one of the last ones” to leave the White House after a meeting on February 14.
Wyden opened his five-minute question period by accusing Sessions of dodging questions about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.