Attorney General Jeff Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee

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She then brought up the president's interview with NBC Nightly News, in which Trump acknowledged that Comey's dismissal was related to the Russian Federation probe.

"If I don't qualify, it you'll accuse me of lying so I need to be correct as best as I can".

Democrats took a harsher tone, insisting Sessions had taken liberties in interpreting rules that enabled him to evade their questions. "You're impeding this investigation".

Several times Sessions said he couldn't answer the questions because it would disclose a private conversation with the president without first giving Trump the chance to invoke executive privilege.

Explaining his decision to recuse himself from any Justice Department investigation into Russia's role in the election, he denied any "asserted wrongdoing" played into his decision-making process, instead saying he did so in line with a department regulation that barred employees from participating in campaign investigations if they served on the campaign. After this was revealed, Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigations on March 2.

Sessions testified that he met with a "senior ethics official" at the Department of Justice the day after he was sworn in as attorney general.

Sessions on Tuesday denied any involvement in possible collusion between Russian Federation and members of Trump's campaign, testimony Sessions called "unsettling".

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden told Sessions, "I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling".

But Sessions says Comey should have relayed his concerns to Dana Boente, who was then acting as deputy attorney general and Comey's direct supervisor.

Sessions is the most senior member of President Donald Trump's administration caught up in the controversy over whether associates of the president colluded with Russian Federation to help Trump win the election.

Jeff Sessions raised more questions than he answered in front of the Intelligence Committee, which is why Senator Franken and his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee deserve the opportunity to question the man who lied to them.

"It would be premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege".

Sessions' hearing Tuesday made it clear he and Comey have two very different takes on the state of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under Comey. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina. Sessions said. "I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice".

But Sessions has not addressed this issue directly, nor broader questions about his relationship with Comey. But under questioning, Sessions acknowledged that Trump's campaign foreign policy advisers "never functioned as a coherent team" and there were members of that group he never met.

Sessions became visibly angry when asked about former FBI Director James Comey's testimony last week that aspects of the attorney general's recusal were problematic. During his testimony, the Attorney General was asked if he had been given some of the details about the "active measures" used by Russian Federation to interfere in the USA elections - his answer was, no, as Sessions said he had stayed away from anything to do with the matter, to honor his recusal as Attorney General.

While no one but Sessions can know his exact motivation for dodging the questions, most of the questions he ducked involved whether or not he had discussed the investigations into Russian Federation and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, or their role in the decision to fire James Comey with the president. While Democrats complained about a lack of answers, Republicans countered that the Sessions hearing showed a lack of evidence that tied the Trump Campaign to anything nefarious involving Russian Federation.

The abrupt dismissal of Comey prompted Trump's critics to charge that the president was trying to interfere with a criminal investigation. As Trump tried to shoo everyone out to talk alone with Comey, Sessions lingered, in Comey's account.