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Jeff Sessions Testifies in Senate Intelligence Hearing

14 Juin 2017

Sessions said he agreed with firing Comey, and said he thought that before deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein recommended he be fired.

Some Democrats grew impatient, warning Sessions was stonewalling on vital issues.

Sessions, a close campaign adviser to Trump and the first senator to endorse him, stepped aside from the investigation in early March after acknowledging he had spoken twice in the months before the election with the Russian ambassador.

"The suggestion that I participated with any collusion, that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country... is an appalling and detestable lie".

Sessions' testimony comes after former FBI Director James Comey appeared before the same panel last week.

Sessions both has been involved in the firing of Comey and recused himself an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election."If, as the president said, I was sacked because of the Russia investigation, why was the attorney general involved in that chain?" said Comey. "I just don't have a real recall of the meeting". I asked him specifically that if these reports were true, what would he do as attorney general?

Senator Jack Reed said "there's a real question of the propriety" of Mr Sessions's involvement in Mr Comey's dismissal, because Mr Sessions had stepped aside from the federal investigation into contacts between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Even before Sessions testified, attention in Washington swiveled to whether Trump might seek to fire Robert Mueller, named last month by the Justice Department to head a federal probe into the Russian Federation issue.

SESSIONS: I don't believe I had any conversation with Russian businessmen or Russian nationals.

Wimbledon: blessé à une cheville, le Belge David Goffin déclare forfait
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Sessions headed into the hearing with a big problem: He never reported a meeting on April 27, 2016, with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kisylak at a Trump foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel. Mueller also won votes of support Tuesday from the top two Republicans in Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, both of whom said they have confidence in him. He said he would agree to dismiss Mueller only if there were a legitimate basis to do so. Similarly, he did not answer whether Trump had expressed concern to Sessions about the attorney general's March decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation.

The questions - and how they were asked - largely fit the increasingly partisan contours of an investigation that has hovered over the Trump presidency. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., right, with Sen.

The Attorney General laughed and smirked throughout his testimony, and got visibly upset during one part of his questioning.

But same official argued claiming privilege on a hearing without knowing the scope would not comply with "how the process works". There are none! I can tell you that for absolute certainty. "Americans don't want to hear that answers to relevant questions are privileged or off limits". "You are impeding this investigation".

Sessions corroborated that Comey came to him the next day and asked not to be alone with the president.

Sessions did not ask the White House about whether Trump was invoking executive privilege over his testimony and Trump did not opt to assert the privilege, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

After that meeting, Comey said, he told Sessions he did not want to be left alone with Trump, because he didn't think it was appropriate for the president and the Federal Bureau of Investigation director to have such private meetings.

Lawmakers, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate and to determine if Sessions committed perjury when he denied having had meetings with Russians.