Attorney General Sessions to talk publicly to US Senate panel

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.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, it will be in a hearing that is open to the public.

"He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him", said Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

To return to my opening question with another rhetorical question, is it even possible to be too cynical about anything in Donald Trump's orbit?

If he says yes, it could be an indication there are additional reasons for his recusal, beyond a few meetings with the Russian ambassador, that are not known publicly.

The White House on Monday suggested Sessions could invoke executive privilege during his testimony depending on "the scope of the questions".

Sessions had been scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Senate Appropriations Committee to review funding for the Justice Department, which he heads. These probes have led to bad optics for the administration, if nothing else, after James Comey said in March that the feds are looking into whether the President's campaign colluded with these efforts.

But Sessions, who recommended in a signed memo that Comey be fired, may end up claiming executive privilege as a means of limiting the breadth of his testimony.

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Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, a member of both the Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, has said Sessions should answer questions about his January testimony.Intelligence Committee members will also likely ask Sessions about a possible third undisclosed meeting with Kislyak that is now under investigation, according to media reports.Sessions, an early supporter of Trump's election campaign, will be the most senior government official to testify to the committee on the Russian Federation issue, which has dogged the Republican president's early months in office.Critics charged that by firing Comey on May 9, Trump was trying to hinder the FBI's Russian Federation probe. Sessions could be asked about that part of Comey's testimony, as well as his role in Comey's firing last month.

Judge Randolph Moss' order came the day before Sessions is due to testify in public before the Senate intelligence committee.

"I urge that the Committee hold a hearing with the Attorney General in the open so that the American people can hear for themselves what he has to say with regard to connections to the Russians and the President's abuse of power", wrote Sen. During his nomination hearing in January, the former senator told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no contacts with Russian officials as part of the Trump campaign. That prompted at least some members of the committee to push for a closed hearing, or at least some allotted time to meet with Sessions privately after the public forum, aides said. The White House has denied any collusion with Moscow.

Though we may not learn a lot about the Russian Federation investigation, we will be able to better assess Sessions' survival by the end of the day.

Why did you leave Comey alone with Trump in the Oval Office?

I told the AG that what had just happened - him being asked to leave while the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, who reports to the AG, remained behind - was inappropriate and should never happen.

"I think he's going to testify".

LawNewz.com has reached out to Department of Justice for comment, but they have not immediately responded. Trump's personal lawyer also challenged Comey's account, saying the president never asked for the investigation to be dropped.

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