There's a lot Jeff Sessions 'can't recall' about Russian Federation contacts

Sessions Gets Heated in Exchange With Oregon Senator

Democrats have accused Republicans of launching a spurious investigation of Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, to divert attention from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged links between President Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

After that meeting, Sessions said, he did not have "any further knowledge" of additional contacts between the campaign and Russian officials. He said he mentioned in passing to Sessions that he was preparing to visit Russian Federation and Sessions "had no reaction whatsoever".

"I hope the attorney general can provide some clarification on this problem in his remarks today", Conyers said.

Adding to the questions for Sessions was the release by the House Intelligence Committee last week of a transcript of a private interview with Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the campaign who acknowledged that he had contact with a high-level Russian official while on a trip to Russia past year.

The hearing comes after a year where Sessions has been under repeated pressure from the President to launch investigations into Clinton and has been under fire from congressional Democrats about his answers on Russian Federation and push end the DACA program for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, among other issues.

The hearing is the first time Sessions will testify before the House Judiciary Committee, and members are also likely to press the attorney general on all the ways he has reshaped the Justice Department in his nine months on the job.

Sessions testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, and testified that he had no knowledge of any contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

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On Monday, the head of the Justice Department's legislative affairs office responded to those requests by confirming that "senior federal prosecutors" were "evaluat [ing] certain issues raised in your letters".

One of the attendees at that meeting, J.D. Gordon, recalled that Sessions quickly "shut him down and said, 'We're not going to do that'". At his confirmation hearing to be attorney general, Sessions claimed he "did not have communications with the Russians" during the campaign.

"I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced", Mr. Sessions said.

However, Sessions said he would not acknowledge if he will recuse himself from any probe regarding Clinton, despite earlier pledges to do just that given his high-profile role in the Trump campaign. He has "no clear recollection" of the March 2016 meeting where George Papadopoulos offered to set up a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin - but the attorney general does remember shooting down the campaign aide's unseemly suggestion. "Before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October you stated under oath "I don't recall" in some form of fashion 29 times", Jeffries asked. "I have chose to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States", he said.

"All of you have been in a campaign", Sessions told lawmakers.

Elsewhere in his testimony, Sessions disappointed congressional Republicans by saying that the Justice Department would need a "factual basis" to appoint a second special counsel tasked with investigating Hillary Clinton's role in the Uranium One deal, and that no such basis now exists. Having Trump's own deputies at the DOJ handle it means that any adverse finding about Hillary will be dismissed by the left as Trump running a banana-republic Justice Department that's carrying out his political vendettas.

In April 2015, The New York Times published an article echoing much of the Schweizer book, including one sensational contention that not long after the Russians said they wanted to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a speech in Moscow.

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