Will Jeff Sessions answer or dodge today's Senate questions on Trump, Comey?

Michele Moreno
June 15, 2017

A friend of the president suggested a day earlier that Trump was considering such an ouster.

Presumably under pressure to protect the president without perjuring himself, Attorney General Jeff Sessions found new and creative ways to deflect hours of probing questions by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, most of which amounted to a variation on a familiar theme: "I don't recall".

'It probably would have been better and would have been consistent with the rules of the Department of Justice to never have talked about the investigation to begin with, ' he added.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the USA and declared it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest he was aware of or took part in any collusion between Russian Federation and the election campaign that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

Sessions' answer echoed, but did not illuminate, the account of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Russian Federation has denied repeatedly that it interfered in the US election, and Trump has denied any collusion by his campaign with Moscow. Sessions requested an open hearing, though he made clear in his opening remarks and several times during his testimony that there were some things he would not discuss, including confidential conversations with the president. Before Sessions could answer the question, his time with the California Senator ended. Sessions told Wyden he did not appreciate the "secret innuendo being leaked out there about me".

When the committee gets an answer to that question, it will be a lot closer to getting to the bottom of the Russian Federation collusion allegation than it is today.

SESSIONS: No, I don't believe I ever did. White House frustrations with the Justice Department spilled into public view last week, when Trump on Twitter criticized the legal strategy in defending his proposed travel ban.

Harris: So did you not consult it before you came this committee knowing we'd ask questions about it?

"Senator Feinstein, that would call for a communication between the director and the president and I'm not able to comment on that".

In his opening remarks, Sessions said he knew of no conversations between Trump campaign individuals and Russian officials about interfering in the US election.

Wyden asked Sessions what problematic issues existed. But his former Democratic colleagues pressed him repeatedly on his contacts with Russian Federation and his role in the dismissal of Comey - who led the FBI's probe on Russian Federation until he was ousted.

Sessions also said he does not remember any other meetings with Russian officials, except those two, during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Since then, lawmakers have raised questions about a possible third meeting at a Washington hotel, though the Justice Department has said that did not happen.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 45 percent of voters said they trusted Comey more to tell the truth, while 32 percent said they trusted the president more.

Disappointingly, he didn't do so in his testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Slightly more than half of voters said they watched part or all of Comey's testimony. "Certainly I can assure you, nothing improper, if I had had a conversation with him". Sessions later said the president laid out extensive reasons for firing Comey, all of them related to the director's handling of the inquiry into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she served as secretary of state.

While Tuesday's Appropriations hearing was billed as an opportunity to discuss the Department of Justice budget, U.S. Sen. "But that in itself is not problematic".

"Like the silence of Rep. Coats and Admiral Rogers, I think your silence speaks volumes", Heinrich said.

Sessions, testifying for the first time since he recommended the firing of FBI Director James Comey last month, said he only knows what he reads in newspapers.

Sessions said he agreed with a letter drafted by his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, that Comey should be replaced.

Other reports by Insurance News

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