(AP/Alex Brandon)

Jeff Sessions will testify before Senate Intelligence Committee

Jeff Sessions surprised Senate Intelligence Committee members by offering to testify on James Comey [UPDATED]

Matthew Rozsa
June 12, 2017 3:23PM (UTC)
This was updated 11:15 a.m. ET to reflect that Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions surprised members of the Senate Intelligence Committee by offering to testify before them on Tuesday, the committee agreed — meaning that there will be an open session on Sessions.

It is expected that the committee will seek Sessions' version of the story told by former FBI Director James Comey during his testimony last week. According to Comey, Trump asked a number of White House staffers to leave the Oval Office so that he could have a private conversation with Comey, during which Trump is accused of having asked Comey to drop the bureau's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who sits on the committee, sent a letter to Chairman Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Ranking Member Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia saying, "These matters, which are directly related to threats to our democratic institutions, are of the utmost public interest. I believe we owe the American people transparency."

During an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York also drew attention to concerns that Sessions' memo recommending that Comey be fired could have violated his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Schumer asked, "How does that fit in with his recusal? It doesn’t seem to stand up well to me."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, both leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also want Sessions to appear before them. Graham also wants to speak with President Barack Obama's last attorney general, Loretta Lynch, over Comey's testimony that she had asked him to refer to the Clinton email investigation as a "matter" rather than an "investigation."

As Graham explained on "Face the Nation," “If the attorney general’s office has become a political office, that’s bad for us all. So I want to get to the bottom of that, and it should be in Judiciary."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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