US attorney-general to testify over Russian meddling

Mr Jeff Sessions
Mr Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON • US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow about issues linked to Russia's interference in the US election.

He told Congress last Saturday that lawmakers on other panels had said they intended to ask him about the Russia investigation, after testimony by former FBI director James Comey last Thursday.

Mr Sessions may face sharper questioning from the intelligence committee, which has had access to intelligence materials in its inquiry into the Russian meddling.

"In the light of reports regarding Comey's recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum," Mr Sessions wrote.

He recused himself in March from investigations related to last year's election. He did so after it emerged that he had met the Russian ambassador at least twice last year, though he had testified at his confirmation hearing that he had not had contact with Russians.

Mr Comey told the panel that, on Feb 14, US President Donald Trump had made private comments to Mr Comey that he interpreted as an improper order to drop a criminal investigation into the President's former national security adviser.

The next day, Mr Comey said, he implored Mr Sessions never to leave him alone again with the President, but Mr Sessions did not reply. This was denied by the Justice Department in a statement.

Mr Trump took to Twitter yesterday to slam Mr Comey. "I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'," he wrote.

NYTIMES, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'US attorney-general to testify over Russian meddling'. Print Edition | Subscribe