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US Lawmakers Push Attorney General On Russia-Related Contacts During Campaign
15 November 2017, 12:50 | Marta Robbins
Freedom Caucus founder Jim Jordan is one of the leading voices pushing for Attorney General Sessions to create a probe to look into James Comey
Following Mr. Sessions' recusal, responsibility of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election was passed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counselRobert Mueller to take over the investigation into that matter and all related matters. Months later, the Washington Postrevealed that Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the United States multiple times during the 2016 campaign.
Sessions had said during his January Senate confirmation hearing that he was unaware of communications between the campaign and Russian Federation.
Adding to the questions for Sessions was the release by the House Intelligence Committee last week of a transcript of a private interview with Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the campaign who acknowledged that he had contact with a high-level Russian official while on a trip to Russia a year ago. But if the Department doesn't launch an investigation, Sessions will be seen as having defied the president and let down the GOP at a moment when it's eager to get to the bottom of the dossier mystery and to push Democrats into the Russiagate spotlight.
Boyd wrote in the letter that "t$3 hese senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General [Rod Rosenstein], as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not now under investigation should be opened, whether any matters now under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel".
In the midst of an intense House Judiciary Committee grilling of Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his contacts with Russians, Rep. Steve Cohen derailed the interrogation to ask about drugs.
Asked in a House Judiciary Committee hearing whether he would review requests for a prosecutor "fairly and expeditiously", Sessions confirmed he would. "Each of those are pretty special, factual situations", Sessions said, "and we will use the proper standards".
According to a source familiar with the matter, Sessions shut down Papadopoulos' idea of engaging with Russian Federation, and the Trump administration has played down Papadopoulos' role in the campaign, saying he was nothing more than a low level volunteer.
"After reading his account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter", Sessions said on Tuesday. Sessions supervised the advisory group on which Papadopoulos sat and reportedly rejected his suggestion for Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 in Washington.
Things grew heated with Sessions and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, as Democrats repeatedly implied or accused Sessions of lying in previous testimony.
In terms of the CFIUS approval, Clinton has said she had nothing to do with it. "But honestly they should be looking at the Democrats", Trump said.
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