Sessions to face sharp questions on Russia contacts

Russia cloud settles in over Trump's White House

Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the USA during the presidential campaign has sparked questions, agreed Saturday, June 10, to appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing for sharp questions from his former Senate colleagues about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse himself from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, written testimony by Comey about his alleged interactions with President Donald Trump was released in which the ex-director noted that he asked Sessions "prevent any future direct communication" between Trump and himself after the two shared a private dinner on January 27 and a one-on-one Oval Office meeting on February 14 that Comey found to be "inappropriate".

You may also remember that back in May, when Comey was still the FBI director and answered questions about the Clinton email investigation, the FBI later had to send a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to clarify a few things.

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

"It depends on the scope of the questions", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said when asked whether Sessions would invoke executive privilege.

But intelligence committee members at first were unaware of a planned hearing.

Comey himself had a riveting appearance before the same Senate panel last week, with some key moments centered on Sessions.


Where it goes from there we don't know yet.

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again.

"He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him", said Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

One of those administration officials, Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, met with members of the Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session, according to the agency. "If, as the president said, I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation, why was the Attorney General involved in that chain?"

Comey told the intelligence committee in a closed session that Sessions may have had a third, undisclosed interaction with Russia's ambassador to the USA, according to people familiar with the briefing.

She said Sessions should also testify before the Judiciary Committee, because it was better suited to explore legal questions of possible obstruction. Rejecting White House talking points, they pretty much accepted what Comey had to say at face value, almost to a person praising his service and his honesty.

Former FBI Director James Comey laughs when asked if he leaked memos, says his father J. Brien Comey Sr.

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