Home / World News / Jeff Sessions refused to say whether Trump asked him to hinder Russia investigation, says member of House Intelligence Committee

Jeff Sessions refused to say whether Trump asked him to hinder Russia investigation, says member of House Intelligence Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has refused to say whether Donald Trump asked him to hinder the Russian investigation, a member of the House Intelligence Committee has claimed.

Representative Adam Schiff updated reporters after a closed-door meeting between Mr Sessions and the Intelligence Committee, of which Mr Schiff is a ranking member. The committee is one of several investigating possible Russian meddling in the US presidential election.

“I asked the attorney general whether he was ever instructed by the president to take any action that he believed would hinder the Russia investigation, and he declined to answer the question,” Mr Schiff told reporters after the meeting.

Mr Sessions was an early supporter of Mr Trump, and a close adviser to his campaign. He was one of two people the President said he consulted about firing James Comey, the former FBI Director charged with overseeing the Russian investigation at the time.

In March, Mr Sessions recused himself from running the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. He had recently come under scrutiny for failing to disclose several meetings with Russian officials during the campaign. Mr Sessions maintains that nothing nefarious occurred during the meetings.

Mr Sessions came under fire again this month, when it was revealed that he had attended a meeting in which a campaign staffer discussed his interactions with Russian sources. The staffer, George Papadopolous, has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the interactions.

The Attorney General said he had “no recollection” of the meeting until news reports jogged his memory.

“My story has never changed,” he said during questioning by the House Judiciary Committee. “I’ve always told the truth.”

Democrats were expected to question the credibility of these public testimonies in Thursday’s closed-door meeting. Republicans, meanwhile, were expected to question Mr Sessions over subpoenas they sent in August relating to the Russian investigation. Some Republican representatives feel their requests were stonewalled by the Attorney General.

Mr Trump tweeted about the tensions the day before, writing: “The House of Representatives seeks contempt citations(?) against the Justice Department and the FBI for withholding key documents and an FBI witness which could shed light on surveillance of associates of Donald Trump.”

“Big stuff,” he added. “Deep State. Give this information NOW!”

Mr Trump has previously expressed displeasure with his Attorney General, telling reporters he would not have nominated him if he knew Mr Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Asked in July if he would fire his Attorney General, Mr Trump replied simply: “Time will tell.”

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