Jeff Sessions: I Did Not Recuse Myself From Defending My Honor

Jeff Sessions: I Did Not Recuse Myself From Defending My Honor

A question about Comey's remark last week over Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation probe also rattled the attorney general.

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, called accusations that the Trump administration has inappropriate links to Russian Federation a "detestable lie".

The North Carolina Republican senator gave the update Tuesday at the beginning of an open hearing to hear testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

He also said that since his recusal, "I have no knowledge about this investigation" beyond media reports. Sessions testimony came days after fired FBI Director James Comey testified that he believed he was sacked as part of an effort to influence the agencies investigation into Russian meddling.

"I'm not able to comment on conversations with high officials within the White House", Sessions said.

Sessions was asked pointed questions by Harris about policies from the Department of Justice he was citing as the reason he was unable to answer certain questions during his testimony. Namely, they were upset with his very public handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, which Sessions said was a "usurpation" of Justice Department authority. "You don't walk into any committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with the president of the United States".

The attorney general also said he couldn't confirm or deny private talks he had with Trump regarding Comey's firing. I mean the short version is, yes, witnesses before a Senate hearing, a House hearing, a court hearing have a right to not answer questions if doing so would violate some legal obligation or privilege. This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me.

Russian Federation has denied any such interference, and Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation.

Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said of the congressional hearings into Russian Federation. Importantly, Sessions said Trump had not yet asserted executive privilege, and he himself had no power to claim it.

Rubio asked Sessions about the changes that were mysteriously made to the Republican platform with respect to Ukraine, a key element of suspicion in the Russian Federation matter. "I don't know, Sen".

Burr made it clear Tuesday that National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers followed through on his promise to the Senate intelligence committee and returned to answer questions in private that he said he could not answer.

"I am not stonewalling", he said. There are none. I can tell you that for absolute certainty.

Sessions had one major goal - to protect himself after Comey thrust him into the center of the Russian Federation maelstrom.

Comey himself had a riveting appearance before the same Senate panel last week, with some key moments centered on Sessions.

Sessions contradicted Comey's testimony that he never heard any feedback from Sessions about his meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

In another exchange with lawmakers, Sessions disputed Comey's testimony about a key discussion the two of them had in February, after the president met with Comey alone and privately suggested the Federal Bureau of Investigation drop its probe of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Sessions' testimony will fit into the evolving investigations being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking for criminal misconduct to prosecute, including obstruction of justice, and four congressional committees - two House, two Senate - charged with figuring how Russians intervened in the 2016 campaign and whether any associates of Trump were involved. He went on to say that Trump would do better leaving all of it alone, too.

Perhaps most frustrating for Democratic senators on the committee, Sessions refused to discuss conversations he had with Trump that might shed light on the president's motives in firing Comey - even though he acknowledged that only the president can invoke executive privilege.

"There's nobody up here, Republican or Democrat, thinks the President no matter what he's said would ever agree to come up and testify under oath", said Leahy.

"If there were good cause, I would consider it", Rosenstein testified.

He told members the committee that the deputy attorney general has appointed a special counsel to investigate the matters related to the Russian interference in the 2016 election. Rosenstein responded: "No I have not". "I'm going to defend the integrity of that investigation".

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