Attorney General Jeff Sessions is preparing for sharp questions today from his former Senate colleagues about his role in the firing of James Comey, his Russian contacts during the campaign and his decision to recuse himself from an investigation into possible ties between Moscow and associates of President Trump, the Associated Press reports. The public testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee should yield Sessions’ most extensive comments on questions that have dogged his entire tenure as attorney general and that led him three months ago to step aside from the Russia probe.
Lawmakers have demanded answers from Sessions, particularly about meetings he had last summer and fall with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Those calls have escalated since fired FBI Director James Comey cryptically told senators last week that the bureau had expected Sessions to recuse himself weeks before he did from an investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Sessions will be asked about his conversations with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and whether there were more encounters that should have been made public. He can expect questions about his involvement in Comey’s May 9 firing, the circumstances surrounding his decision to recuse himself from the FBI’s investigation, and whether any of his actions — such as interviewing candidates for the FBI director position or meeting with Trump about Comey — violated his recusal pledge. Asked if the White House thought Sessions should invoke executive privilege to avoid answering questions about his conversations with Trump, presidential spokesman Sean Spicer replied, “It depends on the scope of the questions.”