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Attorney general sessions testifies before US senate intelligence committee


US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a public hearing, APA reports quoting Sputnik.

 

Lawmakers are expected to grill Sessions on aspects of fired former FBI Director James Comey's testimony from last week, as well as Sessions' own alleged meetings with Russian officials. Sessions recused himself in March from the ongoing investigation into purported collusion between US President Donald Trump's campaign and the Russian government. 

 

Senate Committee Chairman Richard Burr outlined the basic goal of the hearing was to discern "fact from fiction" and gain clarity from Sessions on meetings with Russian officials, involvement with US President Donald Trump's foreign policy team before the election and whether Russian officials exerted influence on said policy, Sessions' decision to recuse himself from any Justice Department investigation into 'Russian meddling' and what role the Attorney General may have played in the removal of former FBI director James Comey. 

 

"I did not have any private meetings" with Russian officials at the Mayflower hotel, Sessions said. "Whether I ever attended a reception where the Russian ambassador was already present is beside the point of Russian interference in the election," the Attorney General said.

 

The notion that Sessions colluded with Russians after having served in public service for 35 years is "appalling" and a "lie," he said in during opening remarks. 

 

Regarding his March 2 recusal, Sessions said he not briefed on the investigation into Russia, "which is ongoing today," except as it was relevant for him to make the decision to recuse himself. 

 

It was not because of "any wrongdoing" but because of a Justice Department regulation that "department employees should not participate in investigations into campaigns where one participated in that campaign," not because he believes he had done something wrong.

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