Economy

The questions that could determine Sessions' fate

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, where he will face questions over his meetings with Russian officials during last year's presidential election campaign.

He said that he would testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee instead, though it was unclear initially if the hearing would be open or closed to the public.

Senators on that committee are expected to question Sessions about his meetings with Russians - a topic that has come under increased scrutiny amid investigations into Russian meddling in the US presidential election.

Sessions, among the earliest high-profile backers of Trump's election campaign, failed to disclose meetings with Russian officials during his January confirmation hearing.

Comey accused the Republican president of trying to get him to drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and fired him to undermine the Russian Federation probe.

Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation probe the next day.

For the Trump team, Tuesday's open hearing runs the risk of escalating the political drama surrounding the Russian Federation probe and continuing to distract from the policy agenda the administration is trying to jump-start. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senate Intelligence Committee.

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

But he announced the switch to the intelligence committee this weekend after it became clear that he was only going to get grilled about his role in Comey's firing.

Comey also has said Sessions did not respond when he complained he didn't "want to get time alone with the president again". "I would hope that he would answer the questions". The announcement of his testimony was made without comment from committee officials, who decline to say whether Sessions would be sworn to tell the truth.

We've yet to hear whether the hearing will be an open session, but several outlets are reporting that - despite the wishes of grandstanding Democrats - it will occur behind closed doors.

Democratic lawmakers are skeptical that Sessions will divulge any explosive new details, especially since the attorney general could assert executive privilege regarding any questions about conversations with the president.

Keeping with the Trump administration's anti-immigration agenda, Sessions has also urged federal prosecutors to intensify their focus on immigration crimes such as illegal border crossing or smuggling others into the U.S. And he has threatened to withhold coveted grant money from localities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities as they try to detain and deport people.

The president denied trying to interfere with the investigation and said he would be willing to testify under oath about his interactions with Comey.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered to resign his position at one point in recent months, according to two people close to the White House.

The Washington Post reported that Trump called Sessions up to the White House to talk about firing Comey, then asked Sessions (and Sessions's No. 2, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein) to explain in writing the case against Comey. Trump's personal lawyer also challenged Comey's account, saying the president never asked for the investigation to be dropped. "It is not true, '" the IL lawmaker said.



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