Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee for an open hearing Tuesday, the committee has announced.
Sessions requested that the hearing be public, a Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement.
“The Attorney General has requested that this hearing be public. He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee’s questions tomorrow,” the statement read.
The Hill added:
“Sessions’s testimony comes just days after fired FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers that he knew details that made Sessions’s involvement in the bureau’s Russia probe “problematic.”
The comments — including a reported third meeting between Sessions and a top Russian official — have put the spotlight squarely on Sessions, Trump’s first supporter in the Senate.
Sessions was originally scheduled to testify before a pair of Senate and House Appropriations subcommittees this week, but is now sending a deputy in his place so he can address Comey’s Thursday testimony related to his firing.”
“The Senate and the American people deserve to know exactly what involvement with the Russia investigation he had before his recusal, what safeguards are in place to prevent his meddling, and why he felt it was appropriate to recommend the firing of Director Comey when he was leading that investigation,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.
“Recommending Director Comey’s firing would seem to be a violation of his recusal, and Attorney General Sessions needs to answer for that.”
Sessions’s recusal in March came after reports that he didn’t inform lawmakers of a meeting with the Russian ambassador when questioned about such contacts under oath.
“We were aware of facts I can’t discuss in an open setting that would make his continued involvement in a Russia investigation problematic,” Comey said Thursday.
Comey reportedly told lawmakers behind closed doors that one of those facts included another unreported meeting between Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyac.