Sessions to face sharp questions on Russia contacts

Like Trump, Sessions had betrayed a deep lack of curiosity about Russia's interference in the presidential election, admitting he had never received an official briefing on it. Mueller was recently appointed to lead the investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential election. "We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied on Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the US 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 continued to insist that he could both recuse himself from the FBI's Russian Federation investigation and support the dismissal of James Comey as the FBI director.

Russian Federation has denied repeatedly that it interfered in the USA election, and Trump has denied any collusion by his campaign with Moscow. - Sen. Ron Wyden to Sessions. As the two spoke over one another in a tense exchange, Sessions told Harris, "I'm not able to be rushed this fast". That could include answering questions and cooperating with investigations or subpoenas regarding certain information. Sessions argued that in the context of that hearing, "my answer was a fair and correct response to the charge as I understood it".

"I felt I was required to under the Department of Justice". You're not the witness we were supposed to hear from today. I am concerned that the president still does not recognize the severity of the threat.

Under questioning on January 10, Sessions said he had no communications with Russians during the campaign.

A couple of senators pushed Sessions hard on his basis for refusing to answer. 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.

Despite Sessions' statement about the reasons for his recusal, the attorney general did not actually step aside from the Russia probe until March 2, the day after The Washington Post reported on his two previously undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"There has been some public reporting of a possible third meeting at the Mayflower Hotel on April 27th", said Sen. The White House has not invoked executive privilege and Sessions, in a novel legal argument, said he was trying to protect Trump in case the president wanted to invoke the privilege at some later point. "Cotton", he said. "It's just like 'Through the Looking Glass.' I mean, what is this?"

Disappointingly, he didn't do so in his testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sessions said they had decided, even before they were confirmed for their positions at the Justice Department, that they needed to remove Comey because the Federal Bureau of Investigation needed a "fresh start".

Harris followed up, "Sir, I am not asking about you the principle". The Justice Department has denied such a meeting occurred.

"I basically backed him up in his concerns - and that was that he should not carry on any conversation with the president or anyone else about an investigation in a way that was not proper". "But that in itself is not problematic".

Sessions declined to comment on those reports, stating only that he had "confidence" in Mueller and that it would not be appropriate for him to fire the special counsel.

Sessions told the committee that his recusal from the probe did not in any way negate his authority to recommend the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took his place before the subcommittees.

The official fired back at lawmakers over claims that he colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 election, calling it an "appalling and detestable lie".

Sessions said he refused to answer questions on Tuesday in order to maintain Trump's ability to assert executive privilege at some later date.

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