Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the USA during the presidential campaign have sparked questions, has agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election and says he wants his testimony open to the public.
Though the Justice Department maintains that it has fully disclosed the extent of Sessions' foreign contacts a year ago, lawmakers have continued to press him for answers about an April 2016 event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where both Sessions and Kislyak attended a foreign policy speech by Trump.
New questions about Sessions were raised last week, after former FBI Director James Comey said that he and other leaders at the agency had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did - and that the reasons behind that thinking are classified.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday an announcement would come "when the president is ready to make it".
The former Republican senator took over the Justice Department with a tough-on-crime agenda that included quashing illegal immigration, rooting out drug gangs and leading the charge in helping cities fight spikes in violence. Al Franken (D-Minn.) about communications between "Trump surrogates and intermediaries of the Russian government", Sessions denied, under oath, any communications or contacts with any Russian officials during the presidential campaign. Sessions is especially important to the case because as the attorney general, he was Comey's boss, and because Comey testified "the attorney general lingered by my chair, but the president thanked him and said he wanted to speak only with me". Sessions is already in hot water for failing to disclose during his confirmation hearing that he had meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak throughout the 2016 campaign.
The appearance before the Senate intelligence committee comes one week after former FBI Director Comey cryptically told lawmakers the bureau had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did from an investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.
Sessions has frequently come into the spotlight throughout the turbulent first several months of Donald Trump's presidency, from a hotly contested confirmation hearing to his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation in March. Comey said last week the Federal Bureau of Investigation had expected Sessions to distance himself from the probe weeks before he did. "We've obviously pressed the White House", he said.
An attorney and broadcaster with longtime ties to a Christian legal organization has joined President Donald Trump's outside legal team to deal with the Russian Federation probes. She said she's trying to keep her focus on helping her father change the status quo.
The hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET.
The Attorney General, who was one of the first high-profile supporters of Trump's election campaign, agreed on Saturday to appear before the Senate committee.
What ex-FBI Director Comey said Trump said and did to him didn't reflect well on Trump's judgment or his ability to tell the truth, to say the least.
Such a hearing would be unprecedented and an even bigger spectacle than Comey's testimony, but the senator said it could be done in a "dignified" way.