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Sessions Recused from Russia Probe But Not From 'Defending My Honor'

Sessions Recused from Russia Probe But Not From 'Defending My Honor'”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says fired FBI Director James Comey should have shared his concerns about a meeting with President Donald Trump with another Justice Department official.

Democratic senators pressed him on the legal rationale for his refusal to discuss those private conversations, as Sessions acknowledged that Trump had not asserted executive privilege around the hearing.

In closely-watched congressional testimony, Sessions angrily denounced allegations he acted improperly during meetings with Russian officials - or that he knew of any attempt at collusion by members of the Trump campaign team.

Pressure mounted at the start of the week following reports that Sessions offered his resignation to Trump because the President blamed Sessions for exacerbating his Russian Federation problems by recusing himself from the probe.

Sessions recused himself on March 2 after reports emerged that he had twice met with the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, during the election, contradicting his statements under oath in his Senate confirmation hearing that he did not have contacts with Russians during the campaign.

"AG Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after he lied to Congress about multiple meetings with the Russians", Warren wrote on Twitter. But his former Democratic colleagues pressed him repeatedly on his contacts with Russian Federation and his role in the dismissal of Comey - who led the FBI's probe on Russian Federation until he was ousted. He says he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed it and "we both agreed that a fresh start at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was probably the best thing". "You're not answering even though the president hasn't claimed executive privilege and you haven't claimed executive privilege".

The former FBI director testified that the president spoke to him about the investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, telling him "I hope you can let this go".

Rebutting allegations of wrongdoing by Sessions, Levin reminded everyone that it was former President Barack Obama who met with Russian leadership and famously noted the increased "flexibility" he would have after the upcoming election.

"I recused myself from any investigation into the campaign for president, but I did not recuse myself from defending my honour against scurrilous and false accusations".

"I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign", he said.

There had been some question as to whether the hearing would be open to the public, but the Justice Department said Monday he requested it be so because he "believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him".

"Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong", Sessions added.

It was not clear whether those inquiring senators - mostly Democrats and some Republicans - expected a different answer to the same question.

Newt Gingrich, a former Republican House of Representatives Speaker and Trump ally who initially praised the choice of Mueller, complained this week that Mueller had hired too many Democrats.

Sessions declined repeatedly to discuss his talks with the president, saying they were private.

Sessions denied meeting privately with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in April previous year.

6 - Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): "So when you said you possibly had a meeting with Mr. Kislyak, did you mean you possibly met him?"

It comes as political intrigue pulses through the United States capital following explosive testimony by Comey before the same panel last week, and as Trump has expressed frustrations with Sessions, one of his earliest high-profile campaign backers.

The first real fireworks flew nearly 90 minutes into the testimony. Sen.



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