Sessions mulling second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows
- Author: Ryan Wade Nov 15, 2017,
Nov 15, 2017, 0:54
Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee that he now recalls a meeting previous year with then-candidate Trump where a campaign adviser said he had connections with Moscow and could help arrange a Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sessions has previously told Congress he was unaware of any Trump campaign contacts with Russian Federation, leading Democrats on Tuesday to accuse him of lying under oath.
In addition to the meeting with Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page testified before the House Intelligence Committee recently that he told Sessions of his plans to travel to Moscow.
Sessions said he was aware of Trump's repeated suggestions that the Justice Department should investigate Clinton, but that his actions did not follow from the president's words.
Sessions responded to these revelations by insisting that he'd met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in his capacity as US senator (not as a Trump surrogate), and that they did not discuss the 2016 election.
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"As for Mr. Page, while I do not challenge his recollection, I have no memory of his presence at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club or any passing conversation he may have had with me as he left", Sessions said.
Sessions sought to explain away apparent contradictions in his public statements by portraying President Donald Trump's campaign as an exhausting operation and said he could not be expected to remember specific encounters from more than a year ago. "But we do our duty every day based on the laws and fact".
Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, displayed copies of a series of recent tweets from Mr. Trump in which the president called for an investigation into Russia's 2010 purchase of uranium rights and donations to the Clinton Foundation while Mrs. Clinton led the State Department.
"My answer stands for itself, I guess", Sessions said.
"'Looks like, ' not enough basis to appoint a special counsel", he told the House Judiciary Committee.
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He added: "And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me".
Sessions grew angry in response, repeating that he had never lied under oath.
Under pressure, Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation.
The attorney general previously recused himself from matters related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Last month, he faced the Senate judiciary committee for further questions about his changing story, with Democrats dismayed that Sessions continued to cite executive privilege in refusing to discuss any conversations with President Donald Trump. He said recently that officials there "should be looking at the Democrats" and that it was "very discouraging" they were not "going after Hillary Clinton".
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