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Sessions says he will testify Tuesday to answer questions about Russia raised by Comey

U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)
U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said he would appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to answer questions about his dealings with Russian officials.

Sessions, who came under criticism for failing to report meetings with the Russian ambassador, wrote a letter Saturday saying he wanted to answer questions raised during former FBI Director James B. Comey’s testimony on Thursday.

During his testimony, Comey said the FBI had learned about something regarding Sessions “that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.” Comey said he couldn’t discuss it publicly.

In a closed session afterward, Comey said the FBI had received unconfirmed reports that Sessions might have had a third meeting with Ambassador Sergey Kisylak during a reception for then-candidate Donald Trump at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel.

A Justice Department spokeswoman has said that no such meeting occurred.

In March, Sessions recused himself from supervising the investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Sessions had come under fire for failing to report two other meetings with the ambassador, but he says he recused only because he had worked so closely with Trump during the campaign.

Sessions had been scheduled to testify Tuesday before a joint appropriations subcommittee of Congress, but on Saturday he sent letters to the committee chairmen saying that the Intelligence Committee would be a better forum to answer questions about Russia.

“In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey’s recent testimony ... it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum,” Sessions wrote, saying the Intelligence Committee has access to relevant, classified information. 

Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein will take his place at the appropriations hearing, he said.

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