Sessions refuses to disclose Trump conversations to Senate committee

The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump election campaign as well as the May 9 firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
By Carmelo Sheppard | Jun 15, 2017
United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions left democratic senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee frustrated and angry when he repeatedly refused to provide details of his conversations with President Donald Trump during his two-and-a-half hours of testimony.

When Senator Angus King asked Sessions to provide a legal basis for his refusal to answer questions about his conversations with Trump, he was unable to do so, citing only Justice Department rules. He declined to assert executive privilege.

Democrats pointed out that the legal bases for refusing to answer a congressional inquiry are limited and do not include a blanket "confidentiality" privilege.

"You raised your right hand here today and said you would solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," said Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich. "Now you're not answering questions. You're impeding this investigation."

The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump election campaign as well as the May 9 firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

In March, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after failing to disclose two 2016 meetings with Segei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, reports Reuters. But later, Sessions recommended that Comey be dismissed, raising questions about whether the president was trying to impede a federal investigation and if Sessions should have been involved in the firing after his recusal.

In his testimony, Sessions denied media reports that he held a third previously undisclosed meeting with Kislyak, saying he could not remember any conversations with Russian officials.

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