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Attorney General Jeff Sessions Testifies Before House Lawmakers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Testifies Before House Lawmakers

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that he has not been improperly influenced by President Trump to investigate Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

But the court documents, and Papadopoulos' guilty plea for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over his contacts with Russian officials, put new focus on Sessions' earlier testimony.

"You said one time that good people don't smoke marijuana", Cohen said, referring to statements Sessions made as a Senator past year.

The lawmakers enumerated a long list of questionable activities by James Comey, Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others.

The hearing comes after a year where Sessions has been under repeated pressure from the President to launch investigations into Clinton and has been under fire from congressional Democrats about his answers on Russian Federation and push end the DACA program for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, among other issues.

At a moment where Sessions' leadership and credibility is being questioned - the president himself has openly pondered firing him, and Democrats are accusing him of lying about his knowledge of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign - the attorney general is giving the appearance that he's bowing to the political demands of the president.

A statement responding to concerns from Republican lawmakers and issued in the name of A-G Jeff Sessions said he is leaving open the possibility.

Trump sarcastically responds to Kim Jong Un insults
Trump followed up his freakish tweet by telling reporters that it would be a "good thing" for him and dictator to become friends. Addressing a press conference later, Trump declared his belief that it was possible for the two leaders to be "friends".

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.

According to court documents, Papadopoulos told the meeting he could help use his Russian connections to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yet he recused himself in March from overseeing the Justice Department's investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin after acknowledging two previously undisclosed encounters with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"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 authorised to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter", Sessions said on Tuesday. "They should be looking at a lot of things, and a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me". But he said he had no memory of that conversation.

Mr. Goodlatte's committee and the House oversight committee are already conducting their own investigations into the Uranium One decision.

But, as NPR's Carrie Johnson notes, the Republican-led committee will also likely touch on the Department of Justice's evaluation of whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton Foundation.

The letter follows comments made by President Donald Trump on November 3 when he expressed disappointment in the Justice Department.

"Hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out", Trump said.


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