AG Sessions Denies Improper Russia Contacts During Senate Hearing

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

Similarly, he did not answer whether Trump had expressed concern to Sessions about the attorney general's March decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

Well Jihye... The hearing was mostly focused on the Russian probe and the Attorney General spent most of the time defending himself from accusations he colluded with Moscow.

A person close to the legal team said on Friday Trump's chief personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, expected to file a complaint against Comey early this week to the Justice Department's inspector general's office.

Sessions then recused himself from any involvement in the Russian Federation probe.

However, he denied reports of a third meeting at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, before a foreign policy speech by then-candidate Donald Trump in April 2016.

Sessions also refused to say whether he'd spoken to the President on the matter of Russian interference in the elections, but told the panel in his opening statements that collusion between Russia and Trump was an "appalling and destestable lie".

During his testimony, the Attorney General was asked if he had been given some of the details about the "active measures" used by Russian Federation to interfere in the US elections - his answer was, no, as Sessions said he had stayed away from anything to do with the matter, to honor his recusal as Attorney General. "You don't walk into any hearing or committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with the President of the United States who is entitled to receive confidential communications and your best judgment about a host of issues, and to be accused of stonewalling for not answering them so I would push back on that".

Wyden responded: "He said it's "problematic" and I asked you what was problematic about it".

Sessions, a former Republican US senator and an early supporter of Trump's presidential campaign, testified just five days after Comey told the panel Trump ousted him to undermine the agency's investigation of the Russian Federation matter. I'm following the historic policies of the Department of Justice.

Sessions may be under a further cloud after Comey suggested the attorney general may have failed to take appropriate steps to protect the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief from political pressure from Trump's White House.

Wyden plied Sessions on whether his signing a letter recommending Comey's firing violated his recusal.

Sessions applied that answer universally, from any conversations about firing Comey, to whether the president asked him to leave the room so Trump could meet alone with Comey.

Wyden, one of the Senate intelligence committee's most liberal members, lit into Sessions more than one hour into the hearing - prying into why Comey believed Sessions had been compromised.

Democrats on the committee attempted to ask Sessions whether the president had asked him or others to ditch the investigation.

Before he became attorney general, Sessions served two decades as a Republican senator from Alabama.

At this point, her colleague, Senator John McCain, interjected "The witness should be allowed to answer the question", he said.

Sessions recused himself on March 2, one day after the Washington Post reported that he met with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, despite testimony indicating otherwise.

"I did not have any private meetings nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel", Sessions said.

"Maybe it's because multiple Democrats on this committee have stated they have seen no evidence thus far after six months of our investigation and 10 months or 11 months of an FBI investigation of any such collusion".

Other reports by VgToday

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