Trump Calls James Comey 'Very Cowardly'

Trump Calls James Comey 'Very Cowardly'

The public testimony Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence committee should yield Sessions' most extensive comments to date on questions that have dogged his entire tenure as attorney general and that led him three months ago to step aside from the Russian Federation probe.

As late as Sunday, the Justice Department signaled it expected Sessions testimony to be closed but said the final decision was up to the committee.

The view of the US attorney general coming before a group of aggressive senators may paint a picture similar to the media bonanza of Comey's blockbuster hearing last week.

First, Democrats will grill him on Comey's revelations - for instance his claim that Sessions appeared to recognize the inappropriateness of Trump's request to meet the Federal Bureau of Investigation director alone on February 14.

"This, for me, is about (something) bigger than what it means for 2018, what this means for 2020 and what this means - this is defending the institution of democracy", he said. Invoking of executive privilege for administration employees is typically formally announced by the attorney general, but it's not exactly clear who would make the formal announcement for Sessions, said Michael Bahar, former Democratic staff director for the House intelligence committee and former White House lawyer. Sessions argued that in the context of that hearing, "my answer was a fair and correct response to the charge as I understood it".

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing for sharp questions from his former Senate colleagues about his role in the firing of James Comey and his Russian contacts during the campaign. "There is an opportunity to look at the law with respect to obstruction of justice, to hold a hearing, and also to have those relevant people come before the Judiciary Committee".

Ahead of the hearing there had been suggestions that Sessions might have had a third, unreported encounter with Kislyak in April 2016, at Washington's Mayflower Hotel, where candidate Trump was giving his first major foreign policy speech.

Sessions is vulnerable in at least three areas.

His staffers have since acknowledged that he met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont have sought an FBI investigation.

Both officials are testifying on the Hill Tuesday. That was not so, he said.

Sessions in March removed himself from involvement in any probe into alleged Russian election meddling but maintained he did nothing wrong by failing to disclose that he met a year ago with Russia's ambassador.

King said, though, that he would not agree with those calling Comey's testimony last week a "diversion". "Wyden, there are none", Sessions insisted, his voice rising.

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. U won't be unless Bob Mueller says so.

Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., also a member of that committee, agreed the panel needed to hear any tapes, if they exist. "And when asked I said that to the president". And, if so, do Trump and the White House have to hand them over? 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. "I'm not sure what was in his mind specifically".

The implication that Sessions suggested the firing raises eyebrows as Comey had been leading the counterintelligence investigation into potential ties between Trump's camp and Russian Federation. He asserted that "I am protecting the right of the president to assert if it he chooses and there may be other privileges that may apply".

"The leaders of the House Russia investigation, Reps".

A Sessions spokeswoman said she did not know if it would be public. I don't even read that carefully.

On another hot-button issue, Sen.

President Donald Trump smiles during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

Republicans have pressed Trump to say whether he has tapes of private conversations with Comey and provide them to congress if he does - or possibly face a subpoena. An order from the president would not necessarily qualify, he said.

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