Jeff Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday in an extraordinary public session in which senators are expected to grill the nation's chief law enforcement officer on his prior contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his involvement in the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey. The attorney general said he was at the event, but had no recollection of the ambassador being there.

"(Sessions) believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow", Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Monday. Sessions added a letter to that effect, and both letters were sent to Trump, who then fired Comey later on the same day, May 9.

"I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are proper and appropriate orders", he said. However, if there were not "good cause" to get rid of Mueller, Rosenstein said, "It would not matter to me what anybody says".

"The Senate and the American people deserve to know exactly what involvement with the Russian Federation investigation he had before his recusal, what safeguards are in place to prevent his meddling, and why he felt it was appropriate to recommend the firing of Director Comey when he was leading that investigation", said Sen.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he has seen no evidence of good cause to fire the special prosecutor overseeing the Russian Federation investigation. Charles Schumer of NY, the Senate's top Democrat.

During his testimony, Comey said Trump had specifically excluded Sessions and other top administration officials from the meeting where the president discussed Flynn's possible exposure.

The former Republican U.S. senator from Alabama, one of Trump's most avid supporters on the campaign trail, will likely have to explain why he told lawmakers in January he had no dealings with Kremlin officials previous year. Sessions reportedly offered to resign in wake of the president's criticism.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan says the White House and President Donald Trump should let the special counsel's investigation continue, and await vindication. The committee shortly after said the hearing would be open. Comey told the intelligence committee in a closed session that Sessions may have had a third, undisclosed interaction with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., according to people familiar with the briefing.

Democrats said Sessions needs to resolve conflicting evidence about contacts with Russians and to explain if and why he recommended Comey's firing by Trump, an action that could be a violation of his recusal.

Watch replay of Sessions' testimony in the player below. He told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that "I don't think the Congress would sit still and allow the president to pick his own investigator". He does not acknowledge the unanimous conclusions of the USA intelligence community that Russian Federation massively intervened in our election.

Trump's allies have begun raising questions about special counsel Robert Mueller's impartiality - he's a former FBI director who has worked with fired FBI Director James Comey - and floating the idea that Trump might replace him.

Sessions appeared before the committee for the first time since recusing himself from the Russian Federation investigation, but will face questions from Democrats about why he still played a role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey, which Trump later said was motivated by the probe into Moscow's meddling the last year's election.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, says such a move would "be the last straw" for many in Congress and would have "echoes of Watergate", when President Richard Nixon dismissed special prosecutor Archibald Cox over Cox's subpoenas for White House tapes.

Senators are also expected to ask Sessions why, after recusing himself from the Russian Federation inquiry, he signed a letter last month recommending that President Trump fire Comey.

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