On Saturday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly announced that he will not attend a public session of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on the grounds that he does not want to speak in open session about “issues related to the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.”
According to Politico, Sessions is sending Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to the public briefing and will instead speak to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on Tuesday afternoon in a closed session.
Ousted FBI Director James Comey’s testimony last week heavily implicated Session in multiple matters related to the Russia investigation and called into question how thorough his recusal has been from matters relating to the 2016 presidential campaign.
On Sunday morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) enumerated the questions he wants Sessions to answer in an appearance on “Meet the Press.”
“First, did he interfere with the Russian investigation before he recused himself? Second, what safeguards are there now so he doesn’t interfere?” Schumer said. “Third, he says he was involved in the firing of Comey, and the president said Comey was fired because of Russia. How does that fit in with his recusal?”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) of the Senate Appropriations Committee said on Sunday that Sessions “can’t run forever” from the questions raised by Comey’s testimony.
Leahy tweeted, “My mssg to AttyGen Sessions: Approps & Judiciary have oversight of DOJ. You need to testify before both in public. You can’t run forever.”
3) My mssg to AttyGen Sessions: Approps & Judiciary have oversight of DOJ. You need to testify before both in public. You can't run forever.
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) June 11, 2017