His testimony came just six days after James Comey, the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director, appeared before the same committee.
The former Alabama senator defended himself against accusations that he misrepresented himself during his confirmation hearing by saying he hadn’t met with Russian officials during the campaign.
At issue: Did Sessions lie under oath during his confirmation hearing?
Detractors of the president argue the February 14 meeting, if it happened the way Comey testified, amounts to an obstruction of justice in the FBI’s Russian Federation investigation and would be grounds to begin impeachment proceedings.
And he can expect questions about his involvement in Comey’s May 9 firing, the circumstances surrounding his decision to recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation, and whether any of his actions – such as interviewing candidates for the FBI director position or meeting with Trump about Comey – violated his recusal pledge.
Sessions had earlier recused himself from all matters relating to the Russia investigation after it was reported he had failed to disclose two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
When Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota asked Sessions if he was aware of any contacts between Trump campaign members and Russian officials, Sessions responded “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians”.
Asked whether he would ever take any action to remove Mueller, Sessions said, “I would not think that would be appropriate for me to do”.
“Why don’t you tell me?” There are none, Sen.
“Sen. Wyden, I am not stonewalling”, Sessions said.
“I do recall being one of the last ones to leave”, Sessions said.
The attorney general, a prominent supporter of Donald Trump on the campaign trail, has recused himself from the DOJ Russia investigation.
What Wyden likely meant by his comment was that Sessions’ replies don’t seem believable given the circumstances.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies during a US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2017. “I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in”, he said. After learning that members of the appropriations committee meant to ask him questions about the Russian Federation investigation, Sessions notified the House and Senate committees’ leadership that he would be changing his schedule because “the Senate Intelligence Committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters”. “I’m not sure what was in his mind specifically”.
Sessions is the most senior member of Trump’s administration caught up in the controversy over whether associates of the president colluded with Russian Federation to help Trump win the election. While he did not provide me with any of the substance of his conversation with the president, apparently the day before, Mr. Comey expressed concern about proper communications protocol with the White House and with the president.
“I do not” Sessions said when asked whether he knows whether the president records his conversations. King, I know nothing but what I’ve read in the paper.
As Mr Trump tried to shoo everyone out to talk alone with Mr Comey, Mr Sessions lingered, in Comey’s account.