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Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Democratic Sen.

During his testimony, Sessions rejected any insinuation that he colluded with Russian operatives to influence the presidential election in any way, calling the suggestion an "appalling and detestable lie".

He said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had begun discussing replacing Comey before either of them was confirmed in their jobs.

Sessions told the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday he has never discussed with foreign officials - including Russians - "any type of interference with any campaign or election".

In a February meeting, Comey said, Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before asking him to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

Comey "didn't recall this, but I responded to his comment by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policy regarding appropriate contacts with the White House", Sessions told the panel. Sessions said he was in an Oval Office meeting in February with Comey and Trump when the president said he wanted to speak to Comey privately - and he acknowledged that Comey came to talk to him the next day about the meeting.

Rosenstein testified that he is the only one who has the authority to fire Mueller, who was appointed following the May 9 ousting of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, and that he had seen no good cause to do so.

Sessions said he recused himself from the Justice Department's current Russian Federation investigation only because of a regulation that required it because of his involvement in the Trump campaign.

Republicans said it appears Democrats don't care about this anymore, ever since Comey said the president himself was not under investigation for election collusion.

The Sessions session before the Senate Intelligence Committee comes just six days after Comey's appearance.

Barely a month after Trump dismissed Comey, rumors have been circulating that he may yet seek to sack Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed following the FBI chief's ouster to head the agency's Russian Federation investigation.

Sessions also said he has "no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign".

Cotton then turned to last Thursday's testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey, in which Comey alluded to classified information that caused the FBI to expect Sessions to recuse himself.

And that boss, Jeff Sessions, also promised Tuesday not to get involved in any firing.

A report in The New York Times said the president had indeed weighed the possibility, was dissuaded by staff, and has since landed on the idea of simply pressuring Mueller by letting him know he could be fired. The panel has held seven public hearings this year that had nothing to do with a nomination compared with one in 2016 and three in 2015. He later amended the record by revealing he had met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, twice over the course of the 2016 campaign.

"I was your colleague in this body for 20 years", Sessions said. I am concerned that the president still does not recognize the severity of the threat.

Harris followed up, "Sir, I am not asking about you the principle". Sessions recused himself from the Department of Justice Russia investigation in March, but then signed a letter endorsing Comey's firing in May. But in his testimony Mr Sessions claimed that he stepped aside not because of any wrongdoing on his part, but because a regulation of the Department of Justice mandated it. Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein asked Sessions. He asserted that "I am protecting the right of the president to assert if it he chooses and there may be other privileges that may apply". He said as a longtime law enforcement officer, Sessions just thought Comey could take care of himself and handle this situation on his own. On June 5, he tweeted that the Justice Department "should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted" to the Supreme Court.


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