U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions informed the U.S. Senate by letter on Saturday he will appear before the legislative body’s intelligence committee regarding matters raised by former FBI Director James Comey during testimony before that committee last week.
“In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey’s recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum,” Sessions said in the letter.
Mr. Comey, in his testimony, accused President Trump of firing him as FBI director in order to undermine any federal investigation of collusion between the Kremlin and Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The testimony also raised questions concerning Sessions and Russia, such as the existence of any undisclosed meetings between the former Alabama senator and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the campaign or after the inauguration.
The Justice Department said after the initial letter was released that Sessions will testify in public at his request since he, “believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him.”
In addition to responding to the Comey testimony, the attorney general can expect questions regarding his own involvement with Russia. Sens. Leahy of Vermont and Franken of Minnesota, both Democrats, are asking the FBI to investigate if Sessions committed perjury. Both site a Trump foreign policy speech in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel attended by Sessions and Kislyak.
The Democratic senators say the two could have held a private meeting; DOJ has stated there was no private meeting or side encounter.
“It is unfortunate that anonymous sources whose credibility will never face public scrutiny are continuously trying to hinder that process by peddling false stories to the mainstream media. The facts haven’t changed; the then-Senator did not have any private or side conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel.” said DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.
Sessions’ Senate testimony is scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday, June 13, at 2:30 p.m. EDT.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated.
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