Trump's attorney general Sessions faces Russian Federation grilling

14 Juin, 2017, 20:46 | Author: Claudine Rigal

Sessions' testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, scheduled to start at 2:30 P.M. local time, has the potential for high drama as the Russian Federation probe continues to dominate U.S. politics, sidelining U.S. President Donald Trump's domestic agenda. "If, as the president said, I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation, why was the attorney general involved in that chain?" Though I do recall several conversations I had during that pre-speech reception, I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian Ambassador or any other Russian officials. Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign.

Sessions was forced to recuse himself in March from the federal investigation into possible Russian interference in the USA election after media reports said that he twice met with Kislyak during the 2016 campaign and did not disclose that to the Senate during his confirmation hearing in January.

"I can not and will not violate my duty to protect the confidential communications I have with the president", he said.

"The suggestion that I participated in any collusion.is an appalling and detestable lie", Sessions said. In contrast, Mr Sessions said that he had agreed with Mr Comey about the need for proper communications protocol between the White house and justice officials. "The basis for this historical practice is laid out in the 1982 memos from President Reagan and then-Assistant Attorney General Olson".

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) boxed Sessions in about Comey's termination.

A Sessions spokeswoman later said the attorney general had requested the meeting be open, adding that he looked "forward to answering the committee's questions".

"I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling". "Now you're not answering questions".

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.

At Tuesday's hearing, New Mexico Democratic Sen.

"It appears so, the intelligence community seems to be united in that", Sessions said Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in response to a question from Maine Senator Angus King about whether Russian Federation worked to influence the election.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 13. This raises questions as to how impartially he can exercise his role as the nation's chief law enforcement officer and whether he may still be in a position to influence the Russian Federation probe.

Sessions was sworn in February 9 but did not actually step away from the investigation until March 2, the day after The Washington Post reported on his two previously undisclosed Kislyak meetings.

"He didn't recall this, but I responded to his comment by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policy" regarding contacts with the White House, Sessions said.

Sessions was adamant that he did not have a private meeting with Kislyak at that event. Comey said that, after an encounter with President Donald Trump in which he said Trump pressured him to back off an investigation into the former national security adviser, Comey "implored" Sessions to make sure he was never left alone with the president again - but that Sessions didn't respond.

Sessions' testimony suggested that it would be on Comey to shut down inappropriate discussions with Trump.

"Will you let me qualify it?"

It's not clear if Sessions meant to pay penance to Trump after their relationship strained over the President's concerns that Sessions burned him by stepping aside from the Russian Federation probe - but he did a good job defending the White House anyway.

First, Sessions discounted Comey's report that Sessions didn't want to leave the room because he felt like something might be amiss.

But Sessions, who recommended Comey be fired, may end up declining to discuss his conversations with the president, invoking the so-called executive privilege that allows the president and others in the administration to keep their internal discussions private.

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