Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Attorney General Sessions next up for Capitol Hill scrutiny

A Facebook transaction turned deadly after a mom and dad let a stranger get too comfortable AmberKryca Screenshot
Rickey Rodriguez | 14 June, 2017, 04:52

Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Jack Reed questioned on Sunday why Sessions was involved in Trump's May 9 dismissal of Comey after he had recused himself from investigations of whether Russian Federation tried to meddle in the 2016 presidential election with possible help from Trump associates.

Despite his willingness to discuss these points, the attorney general is expected not to answer questions about conversations he has had with President Donald Trump, such as any conversations he had with Trump leading up to former FBI Director James Comey's firing.

The president called former director Comey a "leaker" and suggested his disclosure about his meetings with the president were "totally illegal".

It has never been clear how Sessions could have recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation, but still involved himself in the decision to fire the FBI director, given that the decision to fire Comey was directly linked to the Russian Federation investigation.

The Justice Department ultimately agreed to a Tuesday public hearing in an attempt to show there's nothing to hide and nothing controversial about Sessions' interactions with Russian officials, officials said.

Comey said he asked Sessions to "prevent any future direct communication between the president and me" after an uncomfortable encounter before his firing.

"The Committee can negotiate with the Administration to get answers to narrower or different questions or to get answers in a closed session", Lisa Kern Griffin, a professor at Duke University School of Law, told CNN. Sessions, a former senator, later issued a clarification saying he had met with the ambassador. In a public rebuke of Sessions, Trump also called out the Department of Justice over its handling of his executive order blocking travelers from several predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States.

"The Senate Intelligence Committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters, as it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information". And, finally, Comey raised some questions about why Sessions played a role in his firing last month if Sessions were truly hands-off on the Russian Federation probe.

A Justice Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity initially said the department expected Sessions to testify in closed session but later stressed that the decision was up to the panel's Republican chairman, Senator Richard Burr.

In March, Sessions recused himself from any investigations that look at Russia's actions in the 2016 campaign.

Why did you leave Comey alone with Trump in the Oval Office?

Did Comey ask for help keeping distance from Trump?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open session Tuesday.

-Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said he would take Trump up on his offer to testify under oath about his conversations with Comey, inviting the president to testify before the Senate.

It was a sign of escalating fallout from riveting testimony from Comey last week of undue pressure from Trump, which drew an angry response from the president on Friday that Comey was lying. "You are your own worst enemy, Mr. President". He said under oath at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign. "We have the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under oath saying one thing, President Trump saying another", he said on CBS.

Will the Justice Department release Comey's memos?

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