US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official websites] on Tuesday in relation to his alleged ties to Russia and its coordination with President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016. During the two-and-a-half-hour session, Sessions repeatedly refused to answer questions claiming a Justice Department policy protects private conversations between the president and cabinet secretaries. He also often said he “couldn’t recall specifics” when asked about conversations he had previously denied having with Russian officials. When asked why he had initially stated those conversations did not take place, Sessions said that he was flustered by the questioning and misunderstood what was being asked of him. He also said that he did not recuse himself from the investigations because of his failure to disclose [JURIST reports] those meetings. However, Sessions’ decision to step away from the matter came the day after The Washington Post [media website] reported on the meetings. Sessions also refused to comment on possible conversations between him and the president regarding Trump’s decision to dismiss [JURIST report] former FBI director, James Comey.
Allegations of Russian connections have been a problem for the Trump administration since the early stages of his presidency. Last month Former FBI director James Comey testified [JURIST report] in front of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Earlier in May the committee issued a subpoena [JURIST report] compelling former National Security Adviser Lieutenant General Michael Flynn to provide documents related to the committee’s investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. Also in May former acting US Attorney General Sally Yates testified [JURIST report] before the Senate Judiciary Committee stating that she had warned about Flynn’s vulnerabilities to blackmail by Russia less than a week after President Donald Trump assumed office. In March now-former FBI Director James Comey confirmed [JURIST report] that the FBI was investigating allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 US presidential election.