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Dem Senator Tells Jeff Sessions That He's 'Impeding' the Investigation

Dem Senator Tells Jeff Sessions That He's 'Impeding' the Investigation

"The suggestion that I participated in any collusion, that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor for 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie", Sessions told senators.

Sessions is the first US senator to show public support for Trump's campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Tuesday afternoon. He also refused to answer questions about his private conversations with President Trump about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. "He clearly wants to protect the president by indicating he hasn't invoked executive privilege".

Both interruptions came after Sessions, who appeared to be refusing to answer Harris' questions, announced that the California senator's line of questioning made him "nervous".

Sessions told the committee he is protecting Trump's right to later on assert executive privilege "if he chooses".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was given the opportunity "to separate fact from fiction and to set the record straight" on the swirling charges of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the firing of FBI Director James Comey for investigating it all. "So I would push back on that", Sessions said.

"People are suggesting through innuendo that I have been not honest about matters, and I've tried to be honest", he said.

The attorney general said there were some things he couldn't talk about because of long standing policies about keeping communications with the president confidential.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of OR aggressively asked Sessions about suggestions arising from Comey's testimony last week that there was something "problematic" about his recusal.

He was involved in Comey's firing because he oversees the FBI, Sessions said, adding, "to suggest that a recusal from a single specific investigation" would render him unable to manage the leadership of the FBI would be "absurd".

He said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so, and an order from the president would not necessarily qualify.

Rosenstein said he would not comply with any Trump order to oust Mueller absent a compelling reason and that no such reason now exists. "They don't decide prosecution".

Asked about Trump's own contention that the president fired Comey with the Russian Federation probe in mind, and regardless of any recommendation from anyone else, Sessions said: "I guess I'll just have to let his words speak for themselves".

Trump's decision to fire Comey, a move recommended by Sessions despite having already recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, prompted critics to charge that the president was trying to interfere with a criminal investigation. "There are none! I can tell you that for absolute certainty", Sessions shouted.

A key Trump supporter, former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, said, "Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair".

"I think it's my responsibility", replied Sessions, adding that his recusal from the Russian Federation probe did not exempt him from his duties in overseeing the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Harris also asked Sessions to provide the committee with documents, notes, and written correspondence relevant to his testimony, to which Sessions responded he would so where "appropriate".

Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May wrote a memorandum to President Donald Trump recommending Comey's dismissal.

But: Sessions also said he thought Comey should be fired. "Franken's question honestly - colleagues. that is false", he said.

As Sessions testified, Trump, who traveled to Wisconsin to discuss a workforce development initiative, declined to answer a reporter's question about whether he had confidence in his attorney general.


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