WASHINGTON (AP) Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US during the presidential campaign have sparked questions, agreed Saturday to appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election.
In a letter on Saturday to Senator Richard Shelby, Mr Sessions said he had been scheduled to discuss the Justice Department budget before House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees but that it had become clear some members would focus their questions on the Russian Federation investigation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, according to the committee's leaders.
"(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", a Justice Department spokesperson said.
Though contact between the White House and the FBI has always been routed through the attorney general or deputy attorney general, Sessions recused himself from overseeing the FBI investigation into Russia's interference with last year's election after failing to disclose meetings with Kislyak during his January confirmation hearing.
Questions have arisen about Sessions' own involvement in the Trump campaign and his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US.
Comey reportedly told lawmakers that Sessions might have had a third undisclosed meeting during a closed session after his public testimony Thursday. Multiple sources confirmed that the president was disappointed with the attorney general's recusal - a decision Trump only learned about minutes before it was announced in March.
Mr Sessions did not say in the letter whether his appearance would be in public or behind closed doors.
Members of the intelligence committee are in the middle of an investigation and have "access to relevant, classified information", Sessions said. In your statement, you said that you and the Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership team decided not to discuss the president's actions with Attorney General Sessions, even though he had not recused himself.
"I don't understand why the president just doesn't clear this matter up once and for all", said Sen. At the time he said the investigation would be overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who last month appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to conduct the inquiry.
Sessions failed to include information about his meetings with Kislyak during his confirmation process.
-Feinstein acknowledged she "would have a queasy feeling, too" if Comey's testimony was true that Loretta Lynch, as President Barack Obama's attorney general, had directed him to describe the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's email practices as merely a "matter" and to avoid calling it an investigation.