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Republicans urge Trump to release tapes

13 Juin 2017

Sessions had previously been scheduled to testify before the Senate and House Appropriations subcommittees Tuesday, but now that he's appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein will testify before those panels instead.

"In light of reports regarding Comey's recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum", Sessions wrote.

Comey told the Senate intelligence committee in closed session that Sessions may have had a third, unreported meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, according to United States media reports.

Though contact between the White House and the FBI has always been routed through the attorney general or deputy attorney general, Sessions recused himself from overseeing the FBI investigation into Russia's interference with last year's election after failing to disclose meetings with Kislyak during his January confirmation hearing.

Pressed on the Attorney General's "interactions with the Russians or his behavior with regard to the investigation, " Comey said Sessions "was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons".

Questions about Sessions resurfaced last week following Comey's testimony about his conversations and meetings with President Trump before Comey was abruptly dismissed as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a stunning development that reverberated through political circles in the nation's capital. The fact that Sessions would delegate that task showed the Russian Federation investigation was distracting him from his core duties.

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With Sessions already under fire for failing to disclose the two meetings with Russians, CNN reported last week that investigators were looking into a possible third Sessions meeting with Kislyak, on the sidelines of an April 27, 2016 campaign event in Washington.

Mr Sessions said his decision to accept the intelligence committee's invitation to appear was due in part to Mr Comey's testimony. Shelby chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee.

Fellow Republicans pressed President Donald Trump on Sunday to come clean about whether he has tapes of private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey and provide them to Congress if he does - or possibly face a subpoena, as a Senate investigation into collusion with Russian Federation or obstruction of justice extended to a Trump Cabinet member. If, as the president said, I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation, why was the attorney general involved in that chain?

In January, Sessions was still a senator from the state of Alabama when he appeared at a hearing before his confirmation as attorney general.

-Feinstein acknowledged she "would have a queasy feeling, too" if Comey's testimony was true that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation. Comey declined to elaborate in an open setting.

Republicans urge Trump to release tapes