Sessions vows to defend himself against 'false allegations'

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vehemently denied Tuesday, June 13 that he colluded with an alleged Russian bid to tilt the 2016 presidential election in Donald Trump's favor, AFP reports.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) of the Senate Appropriations Committee said on Sunday that Sessions "can't run forever" from the questions raised by Comey's testimony.

At issue will be whether Sessions should have been involved in Comey's firing since he recused himself from the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Sessions is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 EST.

Sessions in March removed himself from involvement in any probe into alleged Russian election meddling but maintained he did nothing wrong by failing to disclose that he met past year with Russia's ambassador.

Fellow Republicans pressed President Donald Trump on Sunday to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey and provide them to Congress if he does - or possibly face a subpoena, as a Senate investigation into collusion with Russian Federation or obstruction of justice extended to a Trump Cabinet member.

Reed said he also wants to know if Sessions had more meetings with Russian officials as a Trump campaign adviser than have been disclosed. Sessions argued that in the context of that hearing, "my answer was a fair and correct response to the charge as I understood it".

Last week, Comey told the Senate committee that Trump had fired him to undermine the FBI's investigation of the Russian Federation matter.

As for the timing of his recusal, Comey said the FBI expected the attorney general to take himself out of the matters under investigation weeks before he actually did.

Comey's dramatic testimony drew invective from his former boss on Twitter, with Trump dismissing him as a leaker on Friday and a coward on Sunday. "Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'" Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a parallel Russian Federation probe, said on Twitter that Congress "must compel responses using whatever process necessary". The Justice Department has denied that, saying Sessions stressed to Comey the need to be careful about following appropriate policies. Trump warpath, part one: The president has. Preet Bharara told ABC's "This Week" that Trump was trying to "cultivate some kind of relationship" with him when he called him twice before the inauguration to "shoot the breeze".

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of OR, also a member of the intelligence panel, sent a letter to panel Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and Warner asking for the hearing to be open.

The former Alabama senator also defended himself against accusations that he misrepresented himself during his confirmation hearing when he said he hadn't met with Russian officials during the campaign.

However, he said he thought there was "absolutely evidence to begin a case" into the matter.

A Justice Department official told CNN on Sunday that department officials expected the hearing would be closed but said the final decision was up to the Senate committee.

Other reports by VgToday

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