Sessions to appear before Senate intelligence committee

Sessions to testify before Senate intelligence panel

On Saturday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions canceled his scheduled appearance before an open session of the House and Senate appropriations committees set for the coming week.

"In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey's recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum", Sessions wrote to Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, who heads an appropriations subcommittee that authorizes spending by the Justice Department.

Sessions had been due to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow about the Justice Department's budget for 2018, but said the switch of hearing was necessary as it had become clear he would be questioned about Russian Federation.

The Senate Appropriations Committee had called in the attorney general to testify about budget issues.

Sessions on Saturday said he would appear before the intelligence committee, which has been doing its own investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.

Sessions stepped aside in March from the federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the campaign after acknowledging that had met twice a year ago with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. He had told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

Sessions, among the earliest high-profile backers of Trump's election campaign, failed to disclose meetings with Russian officials during his January confirmation hearing. The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, will appear in place of Sessions at the budget review.


During a congressional hearing, Comey signaled that there were some yet unknown by the public reasons behind Sessions's recusal. The committee shortly after said the hearing would be open.

Despite Sessions' admitted talks with Kislyak, he has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador, including at a foreign policy conference more than a year ago at a hotel in Washington. So we were convinced - in fact, I think we'd already heard the career people were recommending that he recuse himself, that he was not going to be in contact with Russia-related matters much longer.

Comey "put a dagger, if you will, right near the heart of Sessions", Rather said.

The next day, Comey said, he implored Sessions never to leave him alone again with the president, but Sessions did not reply.

Sessions wrote to the two chairmen that he would testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday instead. "My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn't be leaving", Comey added. The Senate panel is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

-Feinstein acknowledged she "would have a queasy feeling, too" if Comey's testimony was true that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation.

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