Jeff Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Posted June 14, 2017

Wyden then asked about Sessions' interactions with James Comey, the ex-FBI director fired by President Trump.

"Former FBI Director James Comey told senators in a closed hearing Thursday afternoon that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have had a third interaction with Russia's ambassador to the USA, according to people familiar with the briefing", CNN reported. In contrast, Mr Sessions said that he had agreed with Mr Comey about the need for proper communications protocol between the White house and justice officials.

"I find it deeply problematic given that Trump's stated reason for firing Comey was the Russian Federation investigation, a matter on which Sessions appropriately recused himself", Rhode told LawNewz.com.

He insisted he never knew anything about the Russian Federation probe or had any role in it. But Sessions said he had concerns about Comey's job performance even before he was confirmed, and that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed it and "we both agreed that a fresh start at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was probably the best thing".

Later, when asked if he was aware of any other Trump campaign officials and their communication with Russian nationals, Sessions responded with a familiar refrain throughout his testimony.

Several Democratic senators expressed frustration because Mr Sessions repeatedly refused to answer questions relating to conversations he had with the president, accusing him of impeding the Russian Federation investigation.

Asked if he had confidence in Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to lead the Russian Federation investigation, Mr Sessions replied: "I have confidence in Mr Mueller but I am not going to discuss any hypotheticals", noting that he was not involved in the Russian Federation investigation.

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"This is a secret innuendo out being leaked out there about me, and I don't appreciate it", Sessions said.

The nation's top law enforcement officer insisted Tuesday that he was "not stonewalling" by declining to answer some questions involving "confidential communications" with President Trump, and any suggestion he colluded with Russian Federation to interfere in the 2016 presidential election was "an appalling and detestable lie". Comey said he had gone to the AG, but had gotten stiffed, declining to discuss Sessions further.

Harris was questioning Sessions about policies from the Department of Justice he was citing as the reason he was unable to answer certain questions during his testimony.

Democratic senators pressed him on the legal rationale for his refusal to discuss those private conversations, as Sessions acknowledged that Trump had not asserted executive privilege around the hearing.

Mr Sessions was revealed to have met the Russian ambassador twice a year ago, meetings that he did not indicate during the Senate confirmation hearing approving his appointment.

"The assertion that I did not answer Sen".

"It's my judgement not to reveal private conversations with the president unless he has an opportunity to review the questions and make a decision", Sessions responded.

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"The intelligence community seems to be united in that", Sessions said. The memo focused largely on the former FBI director's actions relating to the Clinton email investigation.

"Our committee will want to hear what you are doing to ensure that the Russians - or any other foreign adversaries - can not attack our democratic process like this ever again".

Sessions confirmed Comey's account, but he placed less emphasis on the Trump-Comey meeting.

His testy exchanges with Democratic senators contrasted with the Republican senators' treatment, which tended to support Sessions' contention that he was being unfairly painted by allegations of being involved in Russian meddling.

He also said Comey should have shared his concerns about the Trump conversation with another Justice Department official, Dana Boente, who was then acting deputy attorney general, and would have been Comey's direct supervisor.

Sessions said. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice".

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