Highlights from testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions

James Marshall
June 14, 2017

Then the apple-cheeked Alabamanian sat down and proceeded to deflect a barrage of questions - about President Donald Trump, about alleged campaign collusion with the Russians and about the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey - during nearly two-and-a-half hours of testimony on Tuesday.

Sessions, a senior member of Trump's Cabinet and an advisor to his election campaign previous year, had a series of tense exchanges with Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee during about 2-1/2 hours of testimony as they pressed him to recount discussions with the Republican president.

Sessions refused to say whether he and Trump discussed FBI Director James Comey's handling of an investigation into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation during the election campaign before the president fired Comey on May 9. The claim went undisputed until Tuesday night when White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump "has no intention" of firing Mueller, even though she maintained that "the president has the right to".

"I have deep concerns any time a sitting attorney general refuses to answer questions under oath, and the attorney general refused time and time again, without ever invoking executive privilege", Heinrich said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront". Martin Heinrich (D-NM). But Democrats got nowhere with their protests, as they tried to pin down Sessions on whether he was invoking executive privilege (he was not), or what legal reasoning he was using to not answer. Though I do recall several conversations that I had during that free speech reception, I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador or any other Russian officials.

Sessions said during his hearing he is not sure if he would be able to answer the questions in a closed session. He has acknowledged two meetings past year with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak.

But the most definitive statement on the Mueller probe came from Rosenstein, who was on Capitol Hill testifying to a pair of subcommittees on the same day as Sessions. Rosenstein said he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation. While Democrats complained about a lack of answers, Republicans countered that the Sessions hearing showed a lack of evidence that tied the Trump Campaign to anything nefarious involving Russian Federation.

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions gave passionate and vehement replies to accusations of collusion with the Kremlin during the presidential election.

The attorney general defended himself - at times fervently - when asked about this testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey.

And the internet couldn't help but notice the manterruption Tuesday during a Senate hearing focused on picking apart what Attorney General Jeff Sessions knew about Russia's attempts to meddle with the presidential election.

"Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong", said Sessions.

Wyden said there were ways to make Sessions cooperate, but he did not provide specifics.

In the same hearing, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers also said he felt it was "inappropriate" to respond to questions without providing any further rational. He recalled multiple conversations with President Donald Trump about his performance.

LIASSON: The White House still has an agenda.

The attorney general, a prominent supporter of Donald Trump on the campaign trail, has recused himself from the DOJ Russia investigation.

Testifying at a Senate hearing, Sessions said it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest that he participated in or was aware of any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

SESSIONS: Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities.

"It would be premature to me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice on executive privilege", Sessions said.

"I don't know Sen".

"Chairman, the witness should be allowed to answer the question", Sen.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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