Jeff Sessions testimony: attorney general to be grilled on Russian Federation ties

Why did Sessions recuse yourself from the United States' Russia investigation?

"I know nothing but what I've read in the paper", Sessions said.

Comey said Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before Trump asked him in February to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

Sessions said he recused himself because he worked for the campaign and should not be part of an investigation of the campaign.

Comey recounted a one-on-one meeting with Trump during which he said Trump suggested he back off the investigation of Flynn.

Comey's testimony will form a dramatic sequel to Comey's own appearance before the Senate intelligence committee last week, and he will have to tackle several open loops that emerged during that appearance, which twisted the knife in an administration that has struggled to extricate itself from the Russian Federation cloud. Comey said he was uncomfortable and that he "implored" Sessions to make sure he was never left alone with Trump again. Officials said this was in an effort to show there's nothing to hide and nothing controversial about Sessions' interactions with Russian officials. Sessions added his own letter to that effect, and both documents were sent to Trump, who then fired Comey later on the same day, May 9.

"(Sessions) believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow", Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Monday. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice" on private discussions with the White House.

He made recommendations to Trump about handling James Comey's position as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Wyden asked Sessions what problematic issues existed. "I was taken aback by these explosive allegations".

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.

Though the Justice Department maintains that it has fully disclosed the extent of Sessions' foreign contacts past year, lawmakers have continued to press him for answers about an April 2016 event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where both Sessions and Kislyak attended a foreign policy speech by Trump.

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"I understand he was there".

Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sits on the intelligence committee, said he fears that administration officials will "blur the lines between executive privilege and classification, and over-classification". I knew him before that.

"But you never remember having a conversation or meeting with Ambassador Kislyak?" asked Burr.

Sessions replied, "I am not stonewalling".

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said Tuesday he had "confidence in" special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

During his January confirmation hearing, he failed to disclose two meetings he held with Russian officials.

After learning that members of the appropriations committee meant to ask him questions about the Russian Federation investigation, Sessions notified the House and Senate committees' leadership that he would be changing his schedule because "the Senate Intelligence Committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters".

Testifying before a Senate appropriations committee on Tuesday, Rosenstein said that Mueller has his full support and could only be fired "for good cause".

When Wyden accused him of not answering the questions about Comey's reported remark that his behavior after recusing himself from the Russian Federation probe was "problematic", Sessions chuckled and then launched into his most theatrical defense of his actions.

Though he's the deputy attorney general, Rosenstein would have the authority to fire Mueller since Sessions recused himself in March from any probes related to campaigns for president, like the Russian Federation investigation.

Asked if he would fire Mueller should Trump ask him to, Rosenstein responded: "I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful".

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