Jeff Sessions to answer Russian Federation questions in writing

Violet Powell
March 4, 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will provide a written explanation about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during last year's presidential campaign, the Justice Department said late on March 3.

In turn, Sessions told Fox News that the situation around his contacts with Kislyak had been "hyped beyond reasons" by the media and criticism of them was "unfair". "And the idea that I was part of a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government are totally false". Reporter: "Should Sessions recuse himself from investigations into your campaign and Russian Federation?"

A number of congressional committees are investigating the alleged interference by Russian Federation in last year's campaign.

"Kislyak is accused of talking to American politicians who were in opposition to the administration of then-President Barack Obama", he said.

Why didn't Mr. Sessions just mention his meetings with Kislyak during his Senate confirmation hearing? "To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does", said Trump at the time.

"I want to know what the Russians have on Donald Trump", said House minority leader Nancy Pelosi in February.

Elizabeth Warren said Sessions should resign. "They should also make it clear that no one is above the law, by demanding an independent criminal investigation of Sessions' Senate testimony".

"From that point, February 13th, until now, why did no one from your staff come to you and say ... perhaps we should amend our statement to the Senate?"

Amid growing calls from Democrats for an investigation into the Trump administration's ties to Russian Federation, the President tweeted an old photo of Chuck Schumer with Vladimir Putin and called the top Senate Democrat a "hypocrite". What a farce. This is not normal.

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On Sunday, the president of the United States - as he is wont to do - tweeted out that "Russia talk is FAKE NEWS". "A special prosecutor, who can not be removed except for cause, is needed".

Beyond that, it's hard to see how the Department of Justice can continue to refuse to appoint a special independent prosecutor to investigate Trump's contacts with Russian Federation.

"Doctorow said that in this political game there is no reason for Trump to give up Sessions". Sessions also strongly denied ever discussing campaign-related issues with anyone from Russian Federation.

Sessions said Thursday that he did not meet with Russian operatives during the campaign and that his recusal should not be seen as an admission that there is any investigation taking place.

Watergate refers to the scandals spawned by a break-in at the Democratic National Committee's offices in the Washington, DC building of that name in 1972 that prompted Mr Richard Nixon to become the only United States president ever to resign.

Flynn was forced to resign in January after it was reported that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador after then-President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia for meddling in the U.S. election.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said a special prosecutor should be appointed to examine whether the federal investigation into the Kremlin's meddling in the USA election - and into possible contacts between Trump associates and Russians - had been compromised by Mr Sessions. His recusal also came after he became embroiled in controversy - a regular occurrence in the new administration - over his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation process.

The Russian embassy has refused to comment on Kislyak's meetings. "This is not even a close call; it is a must", he posted on Twitter.

"He's an honest man", he said of Sessions.

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