U.S. attorney general to face questions on Comey firing, Russian Federation

In addition to the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia's role in US politics, special counsel Robert Mueller is leading an independent inquiry into Russia's meddling and potential links between Russians and the Trump campaign, after being appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last month.

Sessions's hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Eastern, and will be live-streamed.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director hinted in the committee's closed session that there may have been a third, unreported meeting between Sessions and Kislyak, people familiar with the briefing said.

Tuesday's hearing may also throw new light on the awkward state of the relationship between Trump and Sessions.

The announcement caps the drama that started over the weekend when Sessions canceled two appearances Tuesday, citing former Comey's blistering testimony last week.

In the first lawsuit of its kind brought by the government, the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia are suing President Trump for violation of anti-corruption clauses in the U.S. Constitution.

The Justice Department says Sessions looks forward to answering the committee's questions.

Comey suggested to senators last week that there might be more to it than that.

King said, though, that he would not agree with those calling Comey's testimony last week a "diversion".

"I think it's important to establish why he was involved in the dismissal of Director Comey since he had recused from, apparently, all matters related to the Russia investigation, and (President Donald Trump) himself has indicated that he, indeed, based his dismissal of Comey on the Russia Investigation", Rhode Island Sen.

Comey said Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before Trump asked him in February to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.

"The Attorney General has requested that this hearing be public".

Mueller is leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties between Moscow and Trump's presidential campaign.

During his testimony, Comey said Trump had specifically excluded Sessions and other top administration officials from the meeting where the president discussed Flynn's possible exposure.

But lawmakers - particularly Democrats - are preparing tough questions for Sessions both about Russia's contact with Trump campaign associates and the circumstances of Comey's firing. "I hope you can let this go". Sources told CNN last week that the attorney general offered to resign after a series of heated exchanges with the President over his decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe.

Sessions generally leaned right of his Republican colleagues, often articulating more conservative views than that of party leaders in the Senate.

The next day, facing questions about why he did not disclose those two meetings with Kislyak, Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation because of his role in the Trump campaign. In addition, even Rod Rosenstein, his deputy, was not clear in his hearing whether he knew what his memo would be used for and who asked him to write it.

After almost five months of living apart, Trump's wife, Melania, announced Sunday that she and the couple's young son, Barron, have moved into the presidential mansion.

Franken: "If there was any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this (2016) campaign, what would you do?"

"My inclination is that this should be in an open session", he said on CBS "This Morning".

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