Sessions calls allegations of collusion with Russia appalling

Owen Stevens
June 14, 2017

During this week's hearing, Sessions repeatedly explained his repeated non-disclosures by citing what he called a long-standing Department of Justice policy.

"I recused myself from any investigation into the campaigns for President, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations".

Sessions insisted he stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation because he was a principal adviser to the Trump campaign, not because he did something wrong or was a subject of the probe.

He said Comey never talked with him about the investigation. The Justice Department has denied that, saying Sessions stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies.

"I am not stonewalling", Sessions replied.

Sessions in March stepped aside from the federal investigation into contacts between Russian Federation and the presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice previous year with Kislyak.

Lawmakers grilled Sessions about his role in Comey's firing, his own involvement in the Trump campaign and his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US. He would not say that he was ordered out of the room as Comey testified last week. "Wyden, there are none", Sessions insisted, his voice rising. Sessions said of that moment: "He was concerned about it, and his recollection of what he said to me about this concern is consistent with my recollection". The questions prompted a previously cool Sessions to sputter a little bit, before blasting back at Wyden, suggesting that the senators themselves were guilty of leaking classified information. Ron Wyden (D-OR), decrying "secret innuendo" from Comey and other critics. The latest tempest includes stories that Trump is considering firing Robert Mueller, the special counsel who picked up where Comey left off.

"I. why don't you tell me?"

However, another Republican, House Speaker Paul Ryan, told reporters, "I think the best case for the president is to be vindicated by allowing this investigation to go on fairly and independently".

Cornyn, who was briefly considered to replace Comey at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, sought to discredit Comey's testimony last week that Trump fired him over the Russian Federation probe. "And when asked I said that to the president". "I'm not sure what was in his mind specifically".

Trump's decision to fire Comey, a move recommended by Sessions despite having already recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, prompted critics to charge that the president was trying to interfere with a criminal investigation.

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

"I can not answer that because it was a communication by the president, or if any such occurred it would be a communication that he has not waived", Sessions said. One possible encounter - at a reception before a Trump speech at Washington's Mayflower Hotel in April, 2016 - was so inconsequential, he said, he could not remember speaking with Mr. Kislyak there. However, in his opening remarks Tuesday, Sessions said he did not disclose two meetings with Kislyak because he was responding to Franken's "rambling question".

On another hot-button issue, Sen.

During the hearing, King said Sessions was "selective" about discussing some conversations Sessions had with the president, but not others.

According to Comey, Trump said of Flynn: "He is a good guy".

Other reports by VgToday

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