Sessions will testify in open hearing before Senate Intelligence Committee

by Frankie Norman June 14, 2017, 2:21

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify to Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning - in a sequel to last week's appearance by the fired FBI Director James Comey.

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.

Comey also testified that later, he implored "the attorney general to prevent any future direct communication between the president and me".

"Since the chairman has recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, he shouldn't be signing subpoenas or having any say in subpoenas related to the Russian Federation investigation, but he has not been willing to delegate that authority to [his Republican colleague Mike] Conaway".

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he could not elaborate on.

Questioned by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Former FBI Director James Comey dropped a hint about some kind of information with regards to Attorney General Sessions and the Russian Federation investigation, which Comey was convinced would lead to Sessions recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe.

In the first lawsuit of its kind brought by the government, the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia are suing President Trump for violation of anti-corruption clauses in the U.S. Constitution. Kamala Harris, who asked if Sessions reviewed any documents related to the investigation before or after recusing himself (Comey answered that he didn't know) and whether he put a mechanism or process in place to ensure he would not have any contact with the investigation (again, Comey said he didn't know). The Justice Department has denied that, saying Sessions stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies.

She said Sessions should also testify before the Judiciary Committee, because it was better suited to explore legal questions of possible obstruction.

Trump has steadfastly denied involvement in any collusion with Russian Federation and portrayed Comey's testimony last week as complete exoneration.

If Sessions chooses to opt out of answering certain questions, legal experts say the committee can hold him in contempt - but that could elongate the testimony and could potentially take months.

There is a way that Sessions could skirt around having to directly answer these questions, however.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing to face former Senate colleagues over his role in the controversy around ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Chris Anders, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington Legislative Office, says Comey sent a very clear signal with this statement.

Spicer, the spokesman, declined to say then that Sessions enjoyed Trump's confidence, though spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said later in the week that the president had confidence "in all of his Cabinet". Al Franken (D-Minn.). "I did not mention communications I had had with the Russian ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them", Sessions wrote.

"I think it depends on the scope of the questions", Spicer said.

The high stakes of Tuesday's hearing prompted speculation that Sessions would protect his private conversations with Trump by declaring executive privilege. He said there were "quite a few others in the room, sitting behind us on couches and chairs".

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