Sessions denies 'scurrilous' Russian Federation claims

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

In his testimony today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions - the U.S.'s chief law enforcement officer - told Sen. Rosenstein repeatedly refused to answer "yes or no", and when Harris pressed him that is when her fellow senators shut her up.

"Let me state this clearly: I have never met with or had any conversations with Russians or any foreign officials concerning any ... interference with any campaign or election", Sessions, a former US senator from Alabama, said in his opening statement to the Senate committee.

He also testified that he had no knowledge of any Trump campaign staff having any such conversations.

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

Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced questioning from his former Senate colleagues Tuesday afternoon as he testified before the same committee that last week hosted James Comey, the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will face questions on Tuesday about his dealings with Russian officials and whether he intentionally misled Congress as a Senate panel investigates the Kremlin's alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Harris went on to finish the question just before committee chairman Richard Burr chimed in, "Senators, we'll allow the chair to control the hearing. I'm not sure what was in his mind, specifically".

"Wait a second, everybody knows there was communication between Russian Federation and Michael Flynn, that's why he was sacked", Colbert says, adding, "Sessions really seems to know nothing, which explains why he was the first senator to endorse Trump".

Citing one example, Mr Sessions said it was "stunning" that the ex-FBI chief "usurped" the Department of Justice's authority by announcing that Hillary Clinton would not be prosecuted over her emails.

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again.

Mr Sessions refused to say whether he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Mr Trump, arguing that he could not disclose private communications with the president. He said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so.

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But the revelations prompted Sessions to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation in March.

"[Comey] perhaps didn't know, but I basically recused myself day I got in office because I never accessed files, learned names of investigators", he said.

"He was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself, for a variety of reasons".

Then in a heated exchange Democrat Senator Ron Wyden asked Sessions about Comey's testimony regarding Sessions' recusal.

"It depends on the scope of the questions", White House press secretary Sean Spicer said when asked whether Sessions would invoke executive privilege.

"Thank you for saying that, Sen".

It was still unclear by the end of the almost three-hour hearing why Sessions met with Kislyak privately if not to address reports that Russian Federation was engaged in a hacking campaign to undermine Democrats and, specifically, the party's presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. "I only know what I've read in the paper", Sessions told Sen. "Now, you're not answering questions". That led some Democrats to suggest he was trying to impede the investigation.

Sessions maintained that he had not been briefed on the Russian Federation investigation between the time of his February swearing-in and his March 2 recusal.

In a series of tweets during the hearing, Sen.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed calls from his colleagues to remove Attorney General Jeff Sessions from his post while appearing on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Tuesday.

Other reports by VgToday

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