Sessions to testify in response to Comey

Brunilde Fioravanti
Giugno 19, 2017

Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee will grill Jeff Sessions on Tuesday after the attorney general agreed to switch planned appearances at a pair of appropriations panels and instead answer questions about alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In a letter to Senator Richard Shelby on Saturday, Sessions has written that his decision to appear comes in light of last week's testimony by fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Shelby is chairman of the Senate committee Sessions originally was scheduled to testify in front of on Tuesday on matters pertaining to the Department of Justice budget. Comey testified in public and then met with the committee in a closed session to discuss matters touching on classified information. At the time he said the investigation would be overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who last month appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct the inquiry.

"I urge that the Committee hold a hearing with the Attorney General in the open so that the American people can hear for themselves what he has to say with regard to connections to the Russians and the President's abuse of power", wrote Sen.

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

Sessions also was expected to get questions about his involvement in the firing of Comey and the news that he offered his resignation to President Trump at one point recently.

He had told politicians at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

She described Comey's testimony as "candid" and "thorough" and said she would support a subpoena if needed. "You can't run forever", Leahy said in a Twitter message to Sessions that also referred to "false testimony" by the attorney general about his contacts with Russian officials.

Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked Comey a series of questions about Sessions' involvement in the Russian Federation investigation during the two weeks between Trump expressing his "hope" that Comey could let go of the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Sessions' recusal from inquiries related to the election.

Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak. The committee shortly after said the hearing would be open.

Trump's alleged comments to Comey about Flynn "is a big deal, and can't be excused by simply being a novice", Preet Bharara said on ABC's This Week, the first televised interview since his own firing by Trump in March as a federal prosecutor in NY.

Sessions was originally supposed to testify in front of the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees this week but said in a statement that he will send a deputy to that hearing instead after hearing that lawmakers would question him about the investigation into ties between Russian Federation and the Trump administration.

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