Sessions says he will discuss Comey with
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[June 12, 2017]
By Idrees Ali
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney
General Jeff Sessions said in a letter on Saturday that he will appear
before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to address matters
former FBI Director James Comey brought up this week in testimony to the
In a letter seen by Reuters, Sessions told Senator Richard Shelby,
chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science and Related Agencies, that the intelligence committee is the
"most appropriate" place to address matters that came up during Comey's
hearing on Thursday.
The letter did not say whether Sessions planned to give public testimony
or to appear before the panel behind closed doors.
"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.
The committee "is the most appropriate forum for such matters, as it has
been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified
information," he added. The Senate panel is investigating allegations of
Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In March, Sessions removed himself from any probe into alleged Russian
meddling in the elections, but maintained he did nothing wrong by
failing to disclose that he met last year with Russia's ambassador.
In testimony to the Senate panel on Thursday, Comey accused President
Donald Trump of firing him to try to undermine the FBI's investigation
of possible collusion by people in Trump's campaign with Russia's
alleged efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions addresses the National Law
Enforcement Conference on Human Exploitation in Atlanta, Georgia,
U.S., June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Comey's appearance raised new questions about the attorney general's
relationship with Russian officials and others with ties to
President Vladimir Putin. One question is whether Sessions had any
undisclosed meetings with Ambassador Sergei Kislyak or other
Russians during the campaign or after Trump's inauguration.
In the most eagerly anticipated U.S. congressional hearing in years,
Comey told lawmakers the Trump administration had lied and defamed
him and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the president
dismissed him on May 9.
Sessions had planned to appear before the Senate and House
Appropriations Subcommittees, but the deputy attorney general will
take his place, the letter said.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Bill Rigby and David Gregorio)
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