Sessions Won’t Say If Russia Probe Was A Reason Trump Wanted Comey Fired

AP
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to confirm or deny whether President Trump brought up the federal Russia investigation as a reason to fire FBI Director James Comey.

“That calls for a communication that I have had with the president, and I believe it remains confidential,” Sessions said, in response to questioning from top Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein (CA) at committee hearing Wednesday.

Asked again by Feinstein if he was denying that the Russia probe was part of the discussions about firing Comey, Session said he wasn’t confirming or denying anything about the hypothetical conversation because he considered those conversations confidential.

Earlier in the hearing, Sessions signaled that he was going to disregard a request previously issued by committee Democrats — via a letter to him last week — to clear up in what areas of potential questioning the President intended to invoke executive privilege.

“I can neither assert executive privilege, nor can I disclose today the content of my confidential conversations with the President,” Sessions said during his opening statement.

That did not stop Feinstein from asking Sessions to go through the reasoning and timeline in the decision to oust Comey. Sessions clung to the rationale given in memos to the President Trump authored by him and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in which they were critical of how Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use.

“I don’t think it’s been fully understood the significance of the errors that Comey made on the Clinton matter,” Sessions said.

Trump has on multiple occasions undercut that logic.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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