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

Sessions, a close campaign adviser to Trump and the first senator to endorse him, stepped aside from the investigation in early March after acknowledging he had spoken twice in the months before the election with the Russian ambassador.

Attorney General Sessions appeared to have a two-pronged strategy for his appearance, which came in the wake of fired FBI Director James Comey's dramatic testimony last week. He said at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

Democrats have prodded the conversation toward the idea of GOP campaign collusion with Russian Federation. Lawmakers on Tuesday questioned Sessions about his role in the Trump campaign, his reasons for recusing himself as attorney general from any federal investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government; and whether he violated the recusal by publicly supporting Comey's firing last month.

He also said Comey should have shared his concerns about the Trump conversation with another Justice Department official, Dana Boente, who was then acting deputy attorney general, and would have been Comey's direct supervisor.

In more explicit answers, however, Sessions fiercely protected his conversations with the president, refusing to divulge their contents.

Heinrich told Sessions he was "obstructing" the congressional Russian Federation investigation by not answering questions, saying his silence "speaks volumes".

Sessions was unclear as to whether he could answer more questions in a classified, private briefing, saying "I'm not sure that executive privilege is not waived by going into a closed session". "You don't walk into any hearing or committee meeting and reveal confidential communications with president of the United States, who is entitled to receive confidential communications in your best judgment about a host of issues".

The attorney general said he never heard any suggestions during the campaign that Russian Federation was somehow interfering to help Trump defeat his Democratic challenger, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

US Fed hikes rates: Aus shares to slip from highs
It also announced plans to start paring its bond holdings later this year, which could cause long-term rates to rise. The bigger issue is the soaring total for the nation as a whole: $1.4 trillion in student borrowing.

The Attorney General said that if Harris didn't allow him to fully answer her question "you'll accuse me of lying".

After Sessions refused to say whether he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Trump, Heinrich and Sen.

Executive privilege can be claimed by a president or senior government officials to withhold information from Congress or the courts to protect the executive branch decision-making process.

"Why don't you tell me?" I'm following historic policies of Department of Justice. He declined further comment.

During Comey's testimony, Senator John Cornyn asked the former Director about his statement.

"[Comey] perhaps didn't know, but I basically recused myself day I got in office because I never accessed files, learned names of investigators", he said. A leak from the closed session with Comey suggested that this problematic factor was the Mayflower meeting with Kislyak. He also said he doesn't recall any conversations with the ambassador during a reception held ahead of Trump's speech.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions heatedly denied Tuesday having an undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the United States and conversations with any Russian officials about the USA election that sent Donald Trump to the White House.

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