US Attorney General Jeff Sessions To Testify In Public Russia Hearing

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, a member of both the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, has said Sessions should answer questions about his January testimony. But he left the decision up to Burr, the sources said.A Justice Department spokeswoman said that Sessions requested the open setting because "he believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him."Comey told the same panel last week that the FBI had information in mid-February on Sessions that would have made it "problematic" for the attorney general to continue leading a federal probe into Russian attempts to influence the presidential election.Sessions recused himself from that inquiry in March after media reports that he had been in two previously undisclosed meetings previous year with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.Tuesday's testimony, scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT), will be the first for Sessions in a congressional hearing since he became attorney general".

Fired FBI director James Comey's version of a critical February 14 encounter with President Donald Trump gets it first test on Tuesday when Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

What time: The hearing begins at 2:30 p.m. ET. "You know, what were the circumstances that led to that, and why did he feel that that was appropriate?" He told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign. Trump's personal lawyer also challenged Comey's account, saying the president never asked for the investigation to be dropped.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions requested that the committee hearing be public.

With this being the first time Sessions has testified in Congress since recusing himself from the investigation, there could be a lot to learn.

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

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.

For another option to watch a live stream of the Jeff Sessions testimony for free, visit the online CBS News channel, which will stream the full testimony at this link, and is also available on mobile devices and set-top streaming sizes such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV through the CBSN app.

What to expect: Sessions will be asked about his ties to Kislyak.

As for the timing of Sessions' recusal, Comey said the FBI expected the attorney general to take himself out of the matters under investigation weeks before he actually did. But Comey did not explain why, saying only that, "we also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic".

In addition, Comey has said Sessions did not respond when he complained that he did not want to be left alone with Trump again.

During that meeting, Comey said Trump asked him to stop investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had been forced to resign the day before after failing to disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador.

Did Comey ask for help keeping distance from Trump?

Sessions won't be able to tell senators what went on in the meeting - the president had ordered him out of the Oval Office, along with other officials, before speaking privately with Comey, according to Comey's testimony. 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 is the first USA senator to show public support for Trump's campaign.

There is a way that Sessions could skirt around having to directly answer these questions, however.

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