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Sessions will testify on Russia, but he might not do it publicly

by Alex Lubben
Jun 11 2017, 12:19pm

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

But whether the American people will actually have a chance to hear what he says is still uncertain — it’s not yet clear whether Sessions will appear in an open session or a closed session before members of the committee.

Sessions had been scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee to discuss the Justice Department’s budget. But he agreed to instead testify before the Intelligence Committee in the wake of former FBI Director James Comey’s no-holds-barred testimony last week; it had become clear Sessions would face questions related to the Russia investigation no matter what committee he faced.

“In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey’s recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,” Sessions said in a statement Saturday, “it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum.”

The attorney general recused himself in March from any investigation into Russian meddling after it became clear he had misled senators during his own confirmation hearing, failing to tell them about his meetings with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose memo criticizing Comey President Donald Trump cited in his firing, will testify before the Appropriations Committee in Sessions’ place.

During Comey’s public testimony last week, the former FBI director said that he’d engineered the leak to the press of his own accounts of interactions with Trump in order to encourage the DOJ to appoint a special prosecutor to the Russia investigation.

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