'An Appalling And Detestable Lie': 5 Highlights From Sessions' Senate Testimony

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

"But, in fact, it appears he did it without her approval, totally, and that is a pretty stunning thing", Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday.

"The suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor for over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie", he said. The former senator later issued a clarification saying he had met with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

In his defense, Sessions could cite a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that criticized Comey over the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Sessions, who was a close Trump adviser during the battle for the presidency, said it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he participated in or was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Sessions said it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he participated in or was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Sessions refused to say whether he had discussed Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's handling of the FBI's Russian Federation probe with Trump before the president fired Comey on May 9.

Sessions told the senators he has confidence in Mueller but said he had "no idea" if Trump did because he had not spoken to the president about the matter.

Speaking before former colleagues, Mr Sessions also contradicted a contention made by former FBI Director James Comey at a hearing before the same panel last week.

Toobin believes the White House comes out the victor in that Sessions will now draw the brunt of the criticism for not answering the questions, rather than Trump. According to Mr Comey, Mr Sessions did not verbally respond to his plea. Sessions recused himself from the Department of Justice Russia investigation in March, but then signed a letter endorsing Comey's firing in May.

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who has frequently supported Trump and worked with Sessions when he was in the Senate, offered him a hand, painting a comical portrait of an alleged spy scheme. "I felt I was required to under the rules of the Department of Justice".

White House spokesman Sean Spicer declined to say if he thought Sessions should refrain from revealing his conversations with the president, saying it "depends on the scope of the questions".

Why Sessions recused himself, exactly.

"I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are proper and appropriate orders", he said.

Lawmakers, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate and to determine if Sessions committed perjury when he denied having had meetings with Russians.

The attorney general said he formally removed himself from any federal investigations involving President Donald Trump's campaign because of a US statute.

"I have deep concerns any time a sitting attorney general refuses to answer questions under oath, and the attorney general refused time and time again, without ever invoking executive privilege", Heinrich said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront".

The head of the National Security Agency answered a lot of questions behind closed doors.

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.

"Why don't you tell me?"

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn in to testify before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2017. The Washington Post reports today that the nation's attorney general recently urged congressional leaders to scrap protections for medical marijuana that received bipartisan approval in 2014.

This was among the many times Sessions attempted to explain that he is protecting the President's right to choose to invoke executive privilege in not sharing the details of conversations. And asked about Trump's own contention that he fired Comey with the Russian Federation probe in mind, and regardless of any recommendation from anyone else, Sessions said: "I guess I'll just have to let his words speak for themselves".

An apparent fracture on the committee even emerged when, after Chairman Richard Burr said they were intensely focused on Russian interference in the election, Sen.

Though the Justice Department maintains that it has fully disclosed the extent of Sessions' foreign contacts previous year, lawmakers have continued to press him for answers about an April 2016 event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where both Sessions and Kislyak attended a foreign policy speech by Trump.

Other reports by VgToday

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