Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify in public hearing

Donald Trump phone President Donald Trump. REUTERS Mike Segar
Rickey Rodriguez | 13 June, 2017, 07:15

But Sessions will be able to corroborate, or not, details of Comey's version of events before and after the encounter, during which, Comey says, Trump all but directed him to back off an investigation into retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who until hours earlier had been Trump's national security adviser. The fact that Sessions would delegate that task to his deputy showed the Russian Federation investigation was distracting him from his core duties. While the President himself claims the testimony vindicated him, most within the political spectrum saw it as the opposite.

On Thursday, Comey told senators that Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership was convinced Sessions would inevitably remove himself given his previously undisclosed contacts with a Russian ambassador and given that "career people were recommending that he recuse himself".

Sessions recused himself from that inquiry in March after media reports that he had been in two previously undisclosed meetings a year ago with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

CBS News has also learned President Trump has set a July 4th deadline for Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to get the White House in order.

While there had been questions over whether or not the hearing would be private or public, and those on the left have been pushing for a public hearing, Sessions and the DOJ today have agreed that a public hearing would in fact be best.

"You may be the first President in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that, if you just were quiet, would clear you", said Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Senate Judiciary Committee. He is a good guy. "I hope they'll be asked". "Sessions actually offered to resign, even though his friends say he doesn't want to leave, but Trump has refused to accept that resignation". Third, it says he was involved in the firing of Comey, and the president said Comey was sacked because of Russian Federation. "I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning".

The Texas Republican said that he was confident Sessions will put an end to the "myths" surrounding recent reports, with his testimony.

Sessions is especially important to the case because as the attorney general, he was Comey's boss, and because Comey testified "the attorney general lingered by my chair, but the president thanked him and said he wanted to speak only with me". The attorney general, of course, was a deeply loyal Trump supporter long before any of his Senate colleagues took the billionaire Republican seriously. "It's hard to read Comey's statement as anything other than something related to Sessions' role with the campaign and Russian Federation", he told me. "He did not reply".

"There's a real question of the propriety of the attorney general participating in that in any way, shape or form", Reed, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said on "Fox News Sunday".

Sessions had originally been scheduled to make separate appearances Tuesday before subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations panels.

Four days later, Sessions wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee as a "supplement" to his testimony, admitting to the two meetings, but continuing to insist his testimony was "correct". The hearing will give members of the committee a pivotal opportunity to definitively pin down the attorney general, who was a key Trump campaign surrogate, on matters relating to both his role in the campaign's communications with Russian officials and, later, the investigation into it.

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