During his testimony, the sitting Attorney General also angrily denied there were problems related to his decision to recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation into Russian activities during the election. A few even cut off Sessions mid-answer in order to get a proper response. John Cornyn, it was former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey still in the hot seat.
Sessions told the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday he has never discussed with foreign officials – including Russians – “any type of interference with any campaign or election”.
“A very simple question that should be asked is did Donald Trump or any of his associates in the campaign collude with Russian Federation in hacking those e-mails and releasing them to the public?” the Arkansas Republican said during Sessions’ hearing before the panel.
Sessions says the president was not asserting executive privilege and that Sessions was simply protecting Trump’s right to do so if he chooses.
Sessions said he did not recuse himself because he felt he was a subject of the investigation himself but rather because he felt he was required to by Justice Department rules.
“It’s just like through the looking glass”, the attorney general said after thanking Cotton. Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat who sits next to Burr and is the vice chairman on the committee – interrupted Sessions’ answers before and after Harris spoke. “Franken’s question honestly – colleagues. that is false”, he said.
He also said his recusal did not bar him from recommending Trump dismiss ousted FBI Director James Comey as the bureau investigated possible cooperation between the Trump team and what USA intelligence officials have called an “influence campaign”. King, I know nothing but what I’ve read in the paper. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said. Namely, they were upset with his very public handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, which Sessions said was a “usurpation” of Justice Department authority.
Sen. Mark Warner, D., Va., asked the attorney general if he had confidence in former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel to probe whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation. Trump has suggested there might be tapes of his encounters with Comey; Comey said last week that “lordy” he hopes there are.
– The details of a February 14 Oval Office meeting, where Sessions and other top aides left the room and Trump talked to Comey alone.
Shortly after the hearing, Sen.
Asked by senator James Risch, a Republican from Idaho, whether Sessions had heard “a whisper or suggestion or anyone making making reference within [the Trump] campaign that somehow the Russians were involved in that campaign”, the attorney general responded “I did not“. But our attorney general, who is the top law enforcement official in the country, and the rest of the Trump administration seem unconcerned by that disturbing truth.
King mentioned a memo from October in which the U.S. Intelligence Community wrote that they were confident that the Russian government were responsible for government email hacks and that those “thefts and disclosures are meant to interfere with the USA election process”.