Attorney General Sessions heads to testify Tuesday

Jeff Sessions to testify: Focus of Russia probe shifts to attorney general

Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify in public hearing

"He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee's questions tomorrow".

Former FBI Director James Comey launched Sessions into the spotlight with his own testimony last week. However, the officials acknowledged to NBC News that the evidence of a meeting does not amount to proof, and they have declined to provide details about it. Comey, speaking to senators in Thursday's closed session, also acknowledged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not have proof the alleged meeting occurred, a source familiar with the matter said.

While the appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee could give Sessions a chance to rebut or even undermine Comey, he could also find himself on the defensive.

Sessions is also likely to be asked about a conversation that Comey said the two had where Comey asked that he never be left alone with the president and Sessions "did not reply" in response.

The hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET.

But reports of a possible third meeting between Sessions and Kislyak have occupied congressional investigators since then. Sessions reportedly offered to resign in wake of the president's criticism. "It hasn't prevented us from issuing the subpoenas we need to issue, but nonetheless, if he's going to honor his request to step aside, to recuse himself, he needs to delegate that authority to Mr. Conaway". Did he do anything after being asked by Comey?

A third participant in that meeting, White House senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner volunteered in March to testify before the intelligence committee.

The subpoenas Nunes issued were related to the reported "unmasking" of Trump associates who were captured speaking to Russians under US surveillance. An order from the president would not necessarily qualify, he said.

Sessions spokesperson Sarah Flores told the Washington Post that there is a difference between campaign and normal senatorial activity. How could an attorney general who said he would take himself out of the Russian Federation investigation play a role in firing the officer who was leading it?

After his May and September contacts with Kushner became known, Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation. What did Sessions say, she asked - how did he respond? Why would Comey think Sessions was going to recuse himself?

Comey referred frequently to the attorney general, and included the tantalizing tidbit that there were "facts that I can't discuss in an open setting".

If he says yes, it could be an indication there are additional reasons for his recusal, beyond a few meetings with the Russian ambassador, that are not known publicly.

But Sessions will be able to corroborate, or not, details of Comey's version of events before and after the encounter, during which, Comey says, Trump all but directed him to back off an investigation into retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who until hours earlier had been Trump's national security adviser. The probe over the possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation is now in the hands of special counsel Robert Mueller for Russian Federation investigation following the Comey dismissal.

Comey's testimony raised a number of questions about Trump and his administration.

There is no doubt senators on the committee have been preparing for his testimony, but here are the questions to Sessions that will be critical in determining his fate. Just last week, Trump vented his frustrations with the Department of Justice in an string of angry tweets.

The hearing will bring contentious questioning for Sessions and likely some uncomfortable moments for the Trump administration. He said he didn't have an answer.

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