Sessions to testify as Republicans prod Trump on tapes

Tonight Show Thank You Notes James Comey Covfefe

Tonight Show Thank You Notes James Comey Covfefe

Sessions said he would send Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, to testify about the department's budget.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has confirmed that he will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week to testify over his dealings with Russian officials, the media reported.

Sessions said he wanted to appear before the panel to address questions about him that arose last week during former FBI Director James Comey's testimony.

Mr Sessions said his decision to accept the intelligence committee's invitation to appear was due in part to Mr Comey's testimony.

"I assume that this [hearing] will be public", Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma said on CBS' Face the Nation program.

A Justice Department spokeswoman has said that no such meeting occurred.

"Some members have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, from which I have recused, and for which the deputy attorney general appointed a special counsel", Sessions wrote.

The Justice Department, which Sessions heads, has been investigating contacts between the Russian government and President Donald Trump's inner circle.

Sessions had been scheduled to testify before other committees about the Justice Department's budget that day, but he will instead appear before the intelligence panel.

Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of NY said on CBS' Face the Nation he would take Trump up on his offer to testify under oath about his conversations with Comey, inviting the president to testify before the Senate.

"We want to be able to get his side of it", Lankford said.

In January, Sessions was still a senator from the state of Alabama when he appeared at a hearing before his confirmation as attorney general.

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again.

Trump at first maintained Comey had been fired as a result of discontent among the FBI agents he supervised, but a day later admitted that he fired the FBI chief as a effect of the bureau's investigation of Russian meddling in US politics.

Sessions is likely to be asked about his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and whether there were more encounters that should have been made public.

Feinstein said she was especially concerned after National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers refused to answer questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee about possible undue influence by Trump. "And so there is an opportunity to look at the law with respect to obstruction of justice, to hold a hearing, and also to have those relevant people come before the Judiciary Committee", said Feinstein, who is a member of both committees. Sessions refused. He may also be under a cloud of suspicion after Comey, in his devastating testimony, suggested the attorney general may have failed to take appropriate steps to protect the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief.

Lawmakers, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate and to determine if Sessions committed perjury when he denied having had meetings with Russians.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions to publicly testify Tuesday to Senate Intelligence committee