Sessions to face sharp questions on Russia contacts

In addition to the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia's role in USA 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. You can tell how little Donald Trump's lawyer trusts his client because when asked point-blank whether America could count on Trump, at the very least, not firing the special counsel investigating Russian election hacking and its potential ties to members of the Trump campaign Donald Trump's lawyer could not promise that wouldn't happen.

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.

Questions have arisen about Sessions' own involvement in the Trump campaign and his meetings with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US. Is there any way to ask about it in open session?

"In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey's testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum", Sessions wrote over the weekend. He said he didn't have an answer. Specifically, it revealed that Trump had asked Comey to "let go" the investigation of Flynn as part of a larger probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US election. The committee shortly after said the hearing would be open. As former US Attorney Preet Bharaa told George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" this past Sunday, "No one knows whether there is a provable case of obstruction of justice".

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. "If, as the president said, I was sacked because of the Russian Federation investigation, why was the Attorney General involved in that chain?" White House frustrations with the Justice Department spilled into public view last week, when Trump on Twitter criticized the legal strategy in defending his proposed travel ban. Did Comey relate that in a closed door session?

One of those administration officials, Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, met with members of the Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session, according to the agency.

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.

Trump is scheduled to visit a technical college in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, and then deliver a policy speech at the Labor Department on Wednesday.

Lawmakers, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, have asked the FBI to investigate and to determine if Sessions committed perjury when he denied having had meetings with Russians.

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