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Attorney General Jeff Sessions Opening Statement For The Senate Intelligence Hearing, Annotated

14 Juin 2017

Lawmakers also asked Rosenstein whether it was appropriate for Sessions to be involved in the firing of Comey given Sessions's recusal from the Clinton email investigation, which he offered because of his role on the Trump campaign. Two months later, however, Sessions played a role in the May 9 firing of Comey, following a White House meeting he attended with Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Trump has expressed frustration with Sessions, one of his earliest high-profile campaign backers, who has recused himself from investigations into alleged Russian interference in last year's election, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. "I have confidence in Mr. Mueller", he said.

He also has vented frustration to aides on Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, a decision that led to Rosenstein's appointment of a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, a former FBI director.

Former FBI Director James Comey launched Sessions into the spotlight with his own testimony last week. "I responded by agreeing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ needed to be careful to follow policy on contact with the White House". "Our Department of Justice rules on proper communication between the department and the White House have been in place for years".

Sessions refused to say whether he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Trump, arguing that he could not disclose private communications with the president. "I was your colleague in this body for 20 years, and the suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor for over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie".

Later however, Sessions appeared to raise the prospect that the meeting may have occurred and he had simply forgotten it.

Senate Democrats have raised the possibility that Sessions and Kislyak could have met there, though Justice Department officials say there were no private encounters or side meetings.

Then, Sessions paused a second, before dialing up his response.

On 1 March, the Washington Post reported that Sessions had in fact met with Kislyak twice. But many Democrats have accused Sessions of misleading the Senate Judiciary Committee during his January confirmation hearing.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr took the reigns, saying, "Senators will allow the chair to control the hearing". He does not acknowledge the unanimous conclusions of the US intelligence community that Russian Federation massively intervened in our election.

Leahy told Rosenstein "you are not the witness who should be behind this table".

Oregon's Congressional delegation is reacting to news Tuesday that the U.S. Attorney General wants to reverse laws protecting states with legalized marijuana.

Donald Trump's lawyer, as well as other surrogates, have engaged in a continual smear campaign against special counsel Robert Mueller. He said he kept memos of his interactions with the president because he was concerned "he might lie" about their meetings.

WATCH NOW: Sessions says there was no third meeting with Russian ambassador
Topics in Sessions' questioning could include those raised by former FBI Director James Comey during his testimony last Thursday. Later however, Sessions appeared to raise the prospect that the meeting may have occurred and he had simply forgotten it.

Sessions said during his hearing he is not sure if he would be able to answer the questions in a closed session. Mark Warner (D-VA) if he would try to have Mueller removed from the investigation, Sessions said, "I wouldn't think that would be appropriate".

Sessions is the first US senator to show public support for Trump's campaign. "If there were not good cause it wouldn't matter what anyone said". Sessions had written a letter to Trump recommending Comey's firing.

Under questioning from Sen.

He said his recusal from the Russian investigation does not affect his ability to lead the DOJ.

This prompts the question, would Sessions support the President and fire the special counsel, if he requested it?

"The question is, Mr. Comey said that there were matters with respect to the recusal that were problematic and he couldn't talk about them".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

The "variety of reasons" line, followed by admonishment that he couldn't discuss the answer in an open setting perked a lot of ears.

"Though I do recall several conversations I had during that pre-speech reception, I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian Ambassador or any other Russian officials".

Sessions insisted he has completely steered clear of anything having to do with the Russian Federation investigation.

He says he is confident that Mueller will have "the full independence he needs" to investigate thoroughly. The bombshell came from a long-time friend of President Trump's, Chris Ruddy, Newsmax CEO and an ABC News contributor.

Another hearing, another example of former FBI Director Comey not being honest.

Sessions also mounted an impassioned defense on Trump, perhaps in the expectation that the President would be watching his appearance on Air Force One as he flew to Wisconsin.