Trump calls Comey "cowardly" as more questions on Russian Federation loom in Congress

Leahy to Sessions ‘You can’t run forever'

Victoria Sarno Jordan

This will be the first time Sessions has testified in Congress since he recused himself from the Justice Department's probe into Russian meddling in last year's election, and since the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

But whether the American people will actually have a chance to hear what he says is still uncertain - it's not yet clear whether Sessions will appear in an open session or a closed session before only members of the committee.

Sessions is scheduled to testify from 2:30 p.m. (1830GMT) on Tuesday.

MARTIN: So what's the attorney general likely to say? President Trump has demonstrated multiple times that his tweets can change the course of this Russian Federation investigation.

"Our judgment, as I recall, was that he was very close [to the campaign] and inevitably going to recuse himself", Comey said during his testimony.

There is a way that Sessions could skirt around having to directly answer these questions, however.

As news of his testimony broke, Sessions attended a Cabinet meeting with Trump at the White House.

Sessions won't be able to tell senators what went on in the meeting - the president had ordered him out of the Oval Office, along with other officials, before speaking privately with Comey, according to Comey's testimony.

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Pressure mounted at the start of the week following reports that Sessions offered his resignation to Trump because the President blamed Sessions for exacerbating his Russian Federation problems by recusing himself from the probe.

The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director also testified that he and the agency had believed Sessions was "inevitably going to recuse" for reasons he said he could not elaborate on. Comey said that Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president.

Over the weekend, Sessions asked to appear before the Intelligence Committee instead of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, where he was expected to appear to discuss Department of Justice funding. During his testimony, Comey stated FBI officials "were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make [Sessions'] continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic".

CNN previously reported that congressional investigators are examining whether Sessions had an additional private meeting with the Russian ambassador in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

"Recommending Director Comey's firing would seem to be a violation of his recusal, and Attorney General Sessions needs to answer for that", Schumer said in a statement. "I'm not the FBI director, but I was the chief federal law enforcement officer in Manhattan with jurisdiction over a lot of things including, you know, business interests and other things in NY".

"Immigration, even for the president, is not a one-person show", the judges said, adding: "National security is not a "talismanic incantation" that, once invoked, can support any and all exercise of executive power".

Can you commit to discuss with the committee in a closed session the reasons for your recusal from the Russian Federation investigation? "I think it's a reasonable question".

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