Friday, 24 November, 2017

Sessions facing Congress amid new Russia probe details

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee
Lillian Steele | 15 November, 2017, 01:53

"The president speaks his mind; he is bold and direct in what he says", Sessions told members of the House Judiciary Committee.

Now, Sessions said he recalled a March 2016 meeting with Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.

Sessions said at the hearing on Tuesday that he forgot about the March 2016 meeting because the Trump campaign was "a form of chaos" from the beginning.

Sessions noted that there have only ever been two special counsels: one for the Waco siege in April 1993, and Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Mr. Trump is frustrated with the continuing investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible ties to his campaign.

"Each of those are pretty special factual situations, and we will use the proper standards, and that's the only thing I can tell you, Mr. Jordan" Sessions said.

Numerous items Goodlatte wanted probed had always been conservative talking points, some having to do with matters many considered long resolved: various decisions made in the Clinton email case, the Uranium One purchase, the so-called "unmasking" of people by the intelligence committee, and allegations, which officials have said were untrue, by Trump that he was wiretapped by his predecessors. But it was a form of chaos every day from day one. In his testimony before Congress Tuesday, Sessions tried to account for this apparent discrepancy.

A statement responding to concerns from Republican lawmakers and issued in the name of A-G Jeff Sessions said he is leaving open the possibility.

In his confirmation hearing in January, Sessions had pledged to senators he would recuse himself from matters involving Clinton, given his involvement with the Trump campaign.

The US Attorney General has asked senior staff to recommend whether to appoint a special counsel to look into Clinton Foundation dealings and an Obama-era uranium deal. Sessions supervised the advisory group on which Papadopoulos sat and reportedly rejected his suggestion for Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet.

In another Senate hearing last month, Sessions testified he had no improper involvement with Russians and was not aware of anyone else from the campaign who did.

Sessions repeatedly declined to answer questions related to the infamous dossier about Donald Trump prepared by retired British agent Christopher Steele, saying he would have to refer questions to the investigation by Mueller. Democrats have said they plan to ask Sessions about what they see as the discrepancies, some of which he has yet to address publicly.

From Republicans, Sessions is likely to face inquiries on a host of matters they want investigated - including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russian Federation.

In this April 6, 2017, photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center in NY.

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