Attorney General Jeff Sessions

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Jeff Sessions to publicly testify before Senate committee following Russia allegations

Sessions' testimony follows former FBI Director James Comey's high-profile hearing last week.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on Jun 12, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 3:27 am CDT

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee during an open hearing on Tuesday.

Sessions’ testimony comes just days after former FBI Director James Comey testified before the committee. His appearance will add yet another high-profile public inquiry into President Donald Trump‘s team and their connections to Russian officials.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the committee’s chairman, announced Sessions’ hearing on Monday morning. The hearing will begin at 2:30pm ET.

The attorney general requested that his hearing be held publicly, according to multiple reports.

Sessions recused himself from the ongoing Russia investigation in March after reports revealed that he did not disclose contacts with Russian officials during his Senate confirmation hearing. The Washington Post reported that Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice. Sessions, at the time an Alabama senator who served as an advisor on Trump’s campaign, did not mention the meetings with Kislyak during his confirmation hearing.

During Comey’s dramatic June 8 testimony, he said Sessions involvement in the federal probe of Russia’s possible ties to the Trump campaign and interference in the 2016 election would have been “problematic” due to “facts” he said he could not discuss publicly.

“Our judgment, as I recall, was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons,” Comey said in response to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.”

In a closed-door session with senators following his public hearing last Thursday, Comey reportedly disclosed that Sessions met with Kislyak a third time, according to CNN, which he also did not mention during his confirmation hearing.

Trump fired Comey early last month. Sessions supported the former FBI officials’ ouster on the grounds that he mishandled the case into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Trump later told NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired Comey at least partially because of the FBI’s Russia investigation.

The FBI and Congress are reportedly investigating other possible meetings between Sessions and Russian officials that he did not disclose.

On Sunday, Wyden wrote a letter to Burr and other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee urging them to have Sessions appear in a public hearing “so that the American people can hear for themselves what he has to say with regards to connections to the Russians and the President’s abuse of power.”

Earlier this month, CNN reported that two Democratic senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked the FBI to investigate whether Sessions committed perjury by not disclosing his contacts with Russians.

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*First Published: Jun 12, 2017, 11:45 am CDT