United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a central figure in the investigation into connections between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russia, will tell his side of the story in open, public testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence this week. Even though the U.S. Justice Department claims that Sessions himself requested that his testimony be public rather than behind close doors like many Intelligence Committee hearings, according to a report on Monday, Sessions may remain tight-lipped anyway.
The Sessions testimony will live stream on Tuesday from room 219 of the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., starting 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time/11:30 a.m. Pacific. Watch a live stream right here on this Inquisitr page below or on the Senate Intelligence Committee website by visiting this link.
“Sessions not expected to answer Senate questions about talks he had w/ @POTUS before Comey’s firing,” reported Mike Levine of ABC News on his Twitter feed early Monday afternoon.
Levine added that Sessions is “expected to cite executive privilege” as his basis for refusing to answer those questions, meaning the attorney general will claim that his conversations with Trump are legally protected from disclosure in public.
The senators grilling Sessions on Tuesday afternoon will likely ask about his role in Trump’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey. Trump said in an NBC News interview that he fired Comey because of “this Russia thing,” though White House spokespersons had previously denied that there was a connection between Comey’s firing and the Russia investigation.
Sessions, according to media accounts, was closely involved in pushing Trump to fire Comey — and Sessions has also been implicated in the Russia scandal due to meetings he held during the campaign last year with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — at a time when Russian intelligence operatives were actively involved in hacking and manipulating the U.S. presidential election to tilt it in favor of Trump and to manage Democrat Hillary Clinton.
While the simple fact of Sessions taking those meetings may not mean anything in itself, Sessions raised suspicions about the true purpose of his Russian contacts when he denied under oath at his January confirmation hearing that he had any “communications with the Russians” during the campaign.
Because Sessions claimed to have recused himself from any involvement in the Russia probe, merely discussing Comey’s firing with Trump would appear to make a mockery of his “recusal.”
To watch a live stream of the Jeff Sessions testimony, click on one of the two videos, below, courtesy of ABC News and Voice of America.
When Comey testified in an open session before the same committee last Tuesday, he told the senators that the FBI had expected Sessions — who in the administration chain of command was Comey’s direct boss — to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. 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.”
But when Comey later the same day met with the Intelligence Committee in closed session, he revealed that the FBI knew of a third meeting between Sessions and Kislyak that Sessions was still keeping a secret, even after revising his January testimony to acknowledge the two meetings he had previously denied.
Sessions, according to Levine’s report, is expected to flatly deny that he held a third meeting with Kislyak.
Source says AG Sessions is expected to make clear to Senate Intel Cmte tomorrow that there was no "third meeting" with Russian ambassador.
— Mike Levine (@MLevineReports) June 12, 2017
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.
[Featured Image By Andrew Harnik/AP Images]