News ID: 194513
Published: 0534 GMT 11 Jun 2017

Sessions to face grilling over alleged Russian meddling in US election

Sessions to face grilling over alleged Russian meddling in US election

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose contacts with Russian officials during the US presidential campaign have sparked questions, heads to Congress next week where he is expected to face a grilling.

Sessions, one of the earliest high-profile supporters of Trump's election campaign, agreed Saturday to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the election.

He will appear before the committee on Tuesday days after FBI’s former director James Comey, in a testimony, accused Trump of trying to block a probe into ties between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

Sessions, in a letter Saturday to Senator Richard Shelby, wrote that he had been scheduled to discuss the Justice Department budget before House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees chaired by Shelby, but noted some members would focus their questions on the Russia investigation.

Sessions also said the reason why he accepted the committee's invitation was due in part to Comey's testimony on Thursday.

"It is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum," he wrote.

Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible encounters with Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. He had told lawmakers at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

"This is going to prompt a lot of questions for him," the panel's top Democrat, Senator Patrick Leahy, told AFP.

According to Leahy, lawmakers would also like to learn about what role Sessions had played in Comey's firing by Trump last month.

There are also concerns that Sessions might have helped subvert the ongoing Russia-related investigations.

"There remain a number of questions about his own interactions with the Russians," Republican Senator Susan Collins told CNN.

In March,  he acknowledged he had contacts with the Russian ambassador and rescued himself from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

 

   
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