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Tag: Senate Intelligence Committee

Sessions’ Troubled Relationship with Trump to Be Put to Test Today

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was one of Donald Trump’s earliest supporters, defending the president’s populist agenda.

But his loyalty to the president will be tested during today’s Senate Intelligence Committee in which Sessions will be grilled about the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Sessions, who recused himself from the investigation for failing to initially reveal contacts with a Russian ambassador, could provide critical information about the probe. Or he could invoke executive privilege and decline to answer the most sensitive questions.

During fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony last week, he said it would be “problematic” to loop Sessions into details of Trump’s alleged request of Comey to drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Sessions also could come under fire for his involvement with Comey’s firing, especially since Trump later acknowledged the termination was the result of the federal investigation into Russia.

As it turns out, Sessions privately offered to resign after Trump criticized the attorney general for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess how Sessions will address the tough questions he’ll be asked during the hearing.

Other Stories of Interest

LA Times: Truth Or Consequence Time for AG Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

On Tuesday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee need to pin Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions down about his role in the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and other matters that remain murky.

On May 9, Sessions wrote a letter to President Trump urging Comey’s dismissal “based on my evaluation, and for the reasons expressed by the deputy attorney general in the attached memorandum.” The memo he referred to by Deputy Atty. Gen Rod Rosenstein faulted Comey for the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Yet Trump later said that “I was going to fire [Comey] regardless of [the Justice Department’s] recommendation” and that he had “this Russia thing” on his mind when he made the decision. Did Sessions, who has recused himself from any investigation connected to last year’s election campaigns, know this when he wrote his letter to Trump? Did he assign Rosenstein to write the memo used to justify Comey’s dismissal?

More Must-See TV: Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Testify in Open Hearing on Tuesday

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thursday used to be “Must-See TV” night on NBC.

But lately, it seems that is applicable to the televised hearings of the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee plans to have Attorney General Jeff Sessions testify in an open hearing on Tuesday, a televised appearance that’s likely to get big TV ratings.

Last Thursday, fired FBI Director James Comey had many glued to the TV when he testified before the same committe.

It will be Session’s first time testifying before Congress since he became attorney general.

 

Senate Committee to Grill AG Sessions on Involvement of Comey’s Firing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has agreed to testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, but the former Republican senator likely will answer questions behind closed doors.

Sessions is expected to be grilled over comments made by fired FBI Director James Comey, who told the same committee last week that President Trump pressured him to end an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Senators from both sides of the aisle also want to know why Sessions was involved Comey’s termination, especially since the attorney general came under fire for failing to disclose meetings with a Russian ambassador and because he recused himself from the Russian investigation, CBS News reports. 

Sessions was expected to testify about the DOJ budget before the Judiciary Committee, but he switched committees after it became clear that he would be questioned about his role in Comey’s firing.

Senators Call on President Trump to Testify about Russia, Comey’s Firing

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Senators from both sides of the aisle are calling on President Trump to testify under oath about the Russia investigation and alleged recordings of his conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey.

The senators’ request comes after Trump said he was “100%” willing to answer questions about alleged ties to Russia and the recordings that Trump alluded to in a tweet.

“I think we could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions, with Leader McConnell,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told CBS.

Before Trump testifies, however, Schumer said he first would have to consult with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican Senator Susan Collins backed up Schumer’s calls for the president to testify.

When asked about the recordings last week, Trump responded that h would provide an answer “within a fairly short period of time.”

Other Stories of Interest

Comey: President Trump Directed Me to Stop Investigating Flynn

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Direct0r James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee today that he believed Donald Trump was giving him a “direction” when the president told him that he “hoped you can let” the Flynn investigation go.

Comey was referring to a Feb. 14 meeting in which the president spoke privately and one-on-one with the FBI director in the Oval Office.

The meeting came one day before Flynn, who had lied to lawmakers and the vice president about contacts with a Russian ambassador, resigned under pressure.

According to Comey, who was fired by Trump last month, the president told him that he hoped he could “see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Comey interpreted Trump’s statements “as a direction,” which is important for investigators who are trying to determine whether Trump obstructed justice.

Comey declined to say whether he believed the conversation amounted to obstruction of justice and wouldn’t disclose if he feels Trump colluded with Russia. 

Calm and confident, Comey revealed for the first time that the FBI was scrutinizing Trump’s actions, which were within “the scope” of the bureau’s investigation. But the fired FBI director emphasized that Trump was not specifically under investigation.

Comey also said he was certain that Russia meddled in the presidential election.

“They did it with purpose and sophistication,” Comey said, adding that the interference came “from the top of the government.”

Russia’s meddling, he said, continues to be a clear threat to American democracy.

“Nobody tells us what to think, what to fight, what to vote for, but other Americans,” Comey said. Russia “tried to shape the way6 we think, we vote and we act. This is a big deal. They are coming after America. They want to undermine our credibility.”

 

10 Likely Questions James Comey Will Be Asked During Trump Senate Hearing

FBI Director James Comey appears Wednesday before the Senate.

FBI Director James Comey appears Wednesday before the Senate.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When fired FBI director James Comey sits down in front of the microphone today, he will be bombarded by questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee as the nation watches.

Here are some of likely questions:

1. Do you believe President Trump obstructed justice when he asked you to “let go” of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn?

2. Do you believe your termination hampered any ongoing investigations into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russia?

3. Did you feel threatened when Trump appeared to suggest he would release recordings of you if you talked about your meeting with him?

4. Do you believe the Russian investigation played a role in Trump firing you?

5. Has anyone else in the Trump administration suggested you should end any Russia investigation?

6. Did Trump ever pressure you to drop investigations that were not involving Russia?

7. Did any other members of Trump’s administration try to influence your Russia investigation.

8. You had an awkward handshake with Trump in January. Do you believe he was sincerely trying to compromise?

9. Since Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel, have you met with him or discussed this hearing?

10. Would you support Christopher Wray, Trump’s nominee for the top FBI spot?

White House: Trump Won’t Assert Executive Privilege to Prevent Comey’s Testimony

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump appeared to be all that stood in the way of fired FBI Director James Comey testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

On Monday, the White House insisted Trump won’t assert executive privilege to prevent Comey from testifying on Thursday morning, the Associated Press reports

Although White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it’s “well-established” that Trump has power to invoke executive privilege, he won’t exercise it.

Sanders said Trump wanted to permit a “swift and thorough examination of the facts” surrounding Comey’s termination and the multiple investigations into possible ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

That being said, some legal experts this week expressed skepticism that Trump could effectively block Comey, now a private citizen, from discussing his dealings with Trump with the U.S. Senate.

The White House had considered blocking Comey on grounds that the testimony involves national security interests, but decided against it because the optics would look bad for the president.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have urged Comey to testify because of allegations that Trump pressured the former FBI director to drop the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his contact with Russia.

Other Stories of Interest