12 June 2017, 06:15 | Ruben Thornton
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, days after fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony left lingering questions about the FBI investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions waits to address the National Law Enforcement Conference on Human Exploitation in Atlanta, Georgia, US, June 6, 2017. Instead, he will send Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to those hearings to discuss budget matters, Sessions wrote in letters to the chairmen of the subcommittees.
Mr Comey told the Senate there were a "variety of reasons" why Mr Sessions's involvement in the investigation of Russia's alleged interference would be problematic.
Sessions recused himself from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice previous year with the Russian ambassador to the US. One question is whether Sessions had any undisclosed meetings with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak or other Russians during the campaign or after Trump's inauguration. But on Saturday, after senators made clear they would zero in on Sessions's connections to Russia, Sessions shifted his plan, opting to address the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify Thursday about his private discussions with Trump and the Russian Federation investigation has lapped into the White House, with questions about the President's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.
Former FBI director Mr Comey appeared before the same panel last week, during which he accused the White House of "lying" about the FBI. "Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'" Trump tweeted on Sunday.
Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible encounters with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.
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"Now, twice in 2 mos., AG Sessions cancels an Approps hg in which I could Q him about his false testimony and half-hearted Russian Federation recusal", the Democratic senator said in a subsequent tweet.
Collins and Feinstein spoke on CNN's "State of the Union and Lankford and Schumer appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation".
Briefing congressional appropriators on the Justice Department's budget is a critical part of the attorney general's job.
"Whether you like what Comey did or not", Rather said, "you have to admit he's a great storyteller".
Trump reached out again as president, but Bharara says he refused to return the call, because he considered these contacts inappropriate. "My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn't be leaving", Comey added.
In written testimony Comey said he told Sessions it was "inappropriate" for him to leave the Federal Bureau of Investigation director alone with the president, and that Sessions "did not reply".