Sessions to face sharp questions on Russian Federation contacts

Attorney General Jeff Sessions captivated Washington Tuesday, beating back rumors of a private meeting with Russia's ambassador to the United States and mounting a defense for President Donald Trump, one week after former FBI Director James Comey artfully unloaded on both men.

I think AG Sessions was truthful throughout his appearance before the committee.

"I left. It didn't seem to me to be a major problem".

In general, as with most of the Russia-related hearings conducted by Congress, it was a tale of two parties.

The courts have established that executive privilege offers broad protections to communications between the president and his advisers, including discussions and written correspondences with the president.

Sessions said it would be "inappropriate" for him to reveal private conversations with Trump when the president "has not had a full opportunity to review the questions and to make a decision on whether or not to approve such an answer".

Lawmakers, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate and to determine if Sessions committed perjury when he denied having had meetings with Russians.

This presents a problem.

Still, as they closed the door on the Sessions hearing, what's noteworthy is that Congress does not, at this time, have another public Intelligence hearing scheduled on what Trump has dismissed as "the Russian Federation thing". Martin Heinrich, who took issue with Sessions declining to answer questions. Instead, Sessions cited "longstanding" Justice Department policy as his reason for declining to comment.

Sessions deflected questions about details of his conversations with Trump about the Russian Federation investigation or the firing of FBI director James Comey. Mr. Trump, "never told Mr. Comey, 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty, ' " Mr. Kasowitz told reporters at the National Press Club June 9.

Lawmakers grilled Sessions about his role in Comey's firing, his own involvement in the Trump campaign and his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US.

An associated problem was not mentioned in this hearing.

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"I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

Repeatedly the article describes the Democrats as "frustrated" or "thwarting their efforts to shed light on the firing of James Comey" without any new signs of a link or wrongdoing.

However, they do guide the attorney general to consult with the White House before responding to congressional inquiries that may involve confidential communications with the president.

While no new bombshell details emerged from the Sessions testimony Tuesday, there were a number of threads and themes that will be sure to crop up again as hearings continue in Russian election meddling. The White House has denied any collusion with Moscow.

A person close to the legal team said on Friday Trump's chief personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, expected to file a complaint against Comey early this week to the Justice Department's inspector general's office. Trump was especially outraged by Comey's admission last week that he had leaked a memo with details of his interactions with the president in hopes of spurring the appointment of a special counsel.

Rosenstein offered his assurances as USA news accounts quoted Republican allies of Trump suggesting that the president is considering firing Mueller, whose appointment, when it was announced, drew widespread praise from both Republicans and opposition Democrats.

What was learned, though, was that Sessions and Rod Rosenstein, now deputy attorney general, may have always been looking for a reason to fire Comey - and so was Trump.

FRANKEN: Well, I haven't seen - I was doing other work. Yet he never provided any evidence for why he said that. Russian Federation has denied interfering in the USA election.

"Absolutely. I don't think there are any heroes necessarily in this story", Ms. Goitein said in response to a question from this writer. Indeed, Rosenstein hired Mueller recently as the special counsel-prosecutor of this Russian Federation probe.

Sessions repeated that he did not hold an undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a speech by then-candidate Trump at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington previous year.

"Chairman", McCain said, "the witness should be allowed to answer the question". But this investigation is just getting started.

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