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Sessions to appear before Senate intelligence committee

14 June, 2017, 07:14 | Author: Melody Ballard

Fired FBI director James Comey's version of a critical February 14 encounter with President Donald Trump gets it first test on Tuesday when Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

It may not have quite the same potential for bombshells as the testimony last week of James Comey, the man fired by Donald Trump as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

He recused himself in March from a federal investigation into contacts between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's presidential campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice a year ago with the ambassador.

The hearing will be held Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

"I think it depends on the scope of the questions", Spicer said.

Sessions heads to Capitol Hill in a perilous position with his boss, with United States media reporting Trump has grown displeased with his attorney general, notably for his recusal on the Russian Federation probe.

Pointing to discrepancies between what Comey has said and what Trump has said, Schumer said this is an opportunity to clear up the cloud over this presidency - the Democratic Party's "Campaign of Resistance" notwithstanding. Or does his appearance represent a White House-orchestrated counterattack following the damaging Comey testimony?

Sessions, a former Republican senator from Alabama, will face tough questions from his former colleagues on a number of fronts that he has never had to publicly address in detail.

Trump has denied Comey's version of events. And if he disagrees with Comey and explains in a public hearing the reasons for his recusal, it will likely lead to more questions about why he didn't also recuse himself from the firing of Comey. Sessions didn't disclose those meetings when he was asked, under oath, during his confirmation hearing.

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

Trump raised the possibility of tapes last month after firing Comey.

The Justice Department says Sessions looks forward to answering the committee's questions. He later said that he did meet with the Russian ambassador in 2016, but in his role as a U.S. Senator, not as a surrogate for the Trump campaign.

She described Comey's testimony as "candid" and "thorough" and said she would support a subpoena if needed.

"The Senate and the American people deserve to know exactly what involvement with the Russian Federation investigation he had before his recusal, what safeguards are in place to prevent his meddling, and why he felt it was appropriate to recommend the firing of Director Comey when he was leading that investigation", said Sen.

"I urge that the Committee hold a hearing with the Attorney General in the open so that the American people can hear for themselves what he has to say with regard to connections to the Russians and the President's abuse of power", wrote Sen. It is not yet known whether the hearing will be public or closed. "What exactly does he know about the discussion between Comey and President Trump?"

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday an announcement would come "when the president is ready to make it". Sessions reportedly offered to resign in wake of the president's criticism.

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

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