Published: Tue, June 13, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Conway says Comey testimony bad for Lynch

Conway says Comey testimony bad for Lynch

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he wants his testimony before the Senate intelligence committee to be open to the public.

Following Comey's testimony, "it is important that I have the opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum", Sessions wrote, adding that members of the intelligence committee are in the middle of an investigation and have "access to relevant, classified information". He said he would send in his place Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.

Senator Patrick Leahy, the Senate appropriations committee's top Democrat and a member of the Senate judiciary committee, tartly reminded Sessions that both oversee his department. "I believe we owe the American people transparency". During his nomination hearing in January, the former senator told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no contacts with Russian officials as part of the Trump campaign.

Tuesday's hearing will be Sessions' first public testimony since March, when he recused himself from the Russia investigations after failing to disclose meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that he and the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he said he could not elaborate on. President Trump has demonstrated multiple times that his tweets can change the course of this Russian Federation investigation.

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"I urge that the Committee hold a hearing with the Attorney General in the open so that the American people can hear for themselves what he has to say with regard to connections to the Russians and the President's abuse of power", his letter stated.

Mr. Sessions had originally been scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees about the Justice Department's budget.

GOP strategist Ryan Williams, a former spokesman for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, said Sessions could use this fact pattern to distance himself.

"You've got a president who's threatening to testify under oath, and I'm sure Republicans think that's skating dangerously close to perjury", Ferson said. "You can't run forever". Barring the emergence of evidence such as a surreptitious recording of the conversation - Trump tweeted that Comey had better hope there are no tapes - deciding which of the two men's accounts is factual may depend on which details most accurately reflect others' recollections. Comey also told the committee that he authorized the leak of the existence of a memorandum documenting the February meeting in which Trump made that request so as to highlight the need for the appointment of a special prosecutor. "No more game playing", Schumer said on CBS. Dianne Feinstein of California has said there should be further investigation. The attorney general, of course, was a deeply loyal Trump supporter long before any of his Senate colleagues took the billionaire Republican seriously. Some senators on the committee are concerned that the attorney general is trying to avoid public testimony, CNN reported Sunday night.

"It's a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning, between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the president", said Mr. Bharara, who was sacked by the president hours after he refused to return a call from him.

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