Published: Wed, October 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Sessions prepares for Senate grilling on private Trump talks

Sessions prepares for Senate grilling on private Trump talks

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wouldn't say whether it would be appropriate for a President to preemptively pardon people who are of interest to a federal investigation. But he refused to discuss any private conversations he had with the president leading up to Comey's firing and would not say if he had discussed with the president an FBI investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Sessions told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during an opening statement of his oversight hearing today the president is entitled to have private conversations with Cabinet secretaries.

On Wednesday, Sessions told the panel that he "will not be able to discuss the contents of my conversations with the president".

"I'm not sure I should without clearing that with special counsel", he said, before taking a pause.

"He did ask for our written opinion and we submitted that to him", Sessions said under questioning from Sen.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a Senate hearing on Wednesday criticized James Comey, saying the "significance of the error" the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director made on the "Clinton matter" has not been fully understood.

Sessions, however, made clear he won't be answering such questions.

Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March, before Mueller was appointed, but he is seen as a possible witness because of his involvement in the May firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Feinstein asked Sessions his role in the firing of Comey last May.

"I don't think it's been fully understood the significance of the error Mr. Comey made on the Clinton matter", he said, referring to Comey's role in the investigation of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. Sessions said he had "never heard of an investigator" declaring the closing of an investigation as Comey did, and that he was particularly concerned that Comey said he would do it again. But Trump himself has at times appeared to undercut that explanation, saying he would have fired Comey even without the recommendation of the Justice Department and that he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" when he dismissed him on May 9.

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