Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will attend that hearing in his place, and Sessions will go before the Senate Intelligence Committee. "He 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", said the Justice Department's Sarah Isgur Flores, in a statement relayed by NPR's Carrie Johnson.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday afternoon in an open session, the committee announced Monday.
But behind the scenes, there was significant pushback from Democrats - including Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman Mark Warner - who raised objections with Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr that Sessions may be trying to skirt public scrutiny.
Sessions has been dogged by the Russian Federation investigation.
The attorney general was forced to recuse himself in March from the federal investigation into Russian interference in the US election after media reports that he twice met with Kislyak during the 2016 campaign and did not disclose that to the Senate during his confirmation hearing in January. His recusal announcement came days after it was revealed that he met with the Russian ambassador to the USA on at least two occasions in 2016.
After Mr. Sessions recused himself, he still signed off on Mr. Comey's firing, which Mr. Trump admitted in an NBC interview was motivated at least in part by "this Russian Federation thing".
During Comey's appearance Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen.
Asked today if Sessions would invoke executive privilege during his testimony, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that "depends on the scope of the questions, and it would be - to get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature".
But they hope the hearing offers a chance to at least get Sessions on the record as either answering or dodging answers about pivotal events related to Comey and the FBI's investigation. The Attorney General has been under fire for his involvement with the Russians.
Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, disputed that account and said that Sessions replied to Comey and said he "wanted to ensure that he and his Federal Bureau of Investigation staff were following proper communications protocol with the White House".
Comey testified that the FBI investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign did not extend to Trump himself during the time Comey was leading the FBI. He told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign. Sessions, an early Trump supporter, recused himself in March from oversight of the FBI's probe into possible cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russians when his meetings with Kislyak became known.
Did Comey ask for help keeping distance from Trump?Sessions, a former senator, later issued a clarification saying he had met with the ambassador.
On Wednesday, written testimony by Comey about his alleged interactions with President Donald Trump was released in which the ex-director noted that he asked Sessions "prevent any future direct communication" between Trump and himself after the two shared a private dinner on January 27 and a one-on-one Oval Office meeting on February 14 that Comey found to be "inappropriate". Are you aware of any White House tapes that exist?