Sessions to testify to House next week in Russia probe

By Allen Cone  |  Nov. 7, 2017 at 1:28 PM
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Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week as part of its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Sessions is scheduled to testify on Nov. 14, committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte announced Tuesday.

All 10 committee Democrats signed a letter asking Sessions about questions on Russian ties to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Sessions has recused himself from Russian matters as head of the Justice Department because he was a top policy adviser during the Trump campaign.

In previous testimony in Congress, Sessions said he was "not aware of any of those" contacts between Russian officials and Trump campaign surrogates.

Later, it was revealed that he spoke to Russia's then-U.S. ambassador Sergey Kislyak. At a judiciary hearing last month, Sessions testified that he had "no improper involvement" with Russian officials and that he was "not aware of anyone" who had communications with the Russians.

Since then it was disclosed that campaign staffer George Papadopoulos, in a meeting that included Sessions, offered in March 2016 to use his contacts and set up a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last week, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russians.

Sessions reportedly rejected the proposal.

Another campaign adviser, Carter Page, told the House Intelligence Committee last week that he informed Sessions in July 2016 about his own planned trip to Moscow.

"These facts appear to contradict your sworn testimony on several occasions," the Democrats on the House judiciary panel, led by Rep. Jon Conyers Jr., of Michigan, wrote in a letter dated Tuesday.

The letter also noted committee members have sent more than 40 letters to the Trump administration "asking for information necessary to carry out our oversight of the Department of Justice. We have not yet received a single meaningful response to any of the letters," including ones sent directly to the department.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also wants Sessions to testify before his Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Jeff, you need to tell us everything you know about Russia. So yeah, he probably should come back, and answer the question yet again 'did you know anything about an effort by the Trump campaign to meet with Russia, not just collude with Russia,'" Graham told said on Fox News Sunday.

Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, hasn't yet asked Sessions to return to testify.

Sessions appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the former Alabama senator's confirmation hearing for attorney general.

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