Attorney General Sessions' Testimony To Senate Panel Will Be Public

But there are also questions about meetings that Sessions had with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, who has emerged as a key figure in the question of whether any Trump associates had ties to Russian officials.

Asked about media reports that he had met with Kislyak on a third occasion at a Washington hotel previous year, Sessions testified that did not remember meeting or having a conversation with the ambassador at the event. He recused himself from the federal probe in March after acknowledging that he met twice past year with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Sessions won't be able to tell senators what went on in the meeting - the president had ordered him out of the Oval Office, along with other officials, before speaking privately with Comey, according to Comey's testimony.

Sessions initially was scheduled to appear at a hearing about the Justice Department's budget on Tuesday morning.

"My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn't be leaving, which is why he was lingering", Comey said last week.

"I know nothing but what I have read in the paper", Sessions said.

It also means the Russian Federation storm will continue to swamp Trump's agenda. He added that Mueller will have the "full independence he needs to conduct that investigation" and that there was "no secret plan" to fire him.

"I think it depends on the scope of the questions", Spicer said. "I am going to protect the integrity of that investigation".

Feinstein also asked if Rosenstein had an estimate for how long the investigation will take.

After Trump had cleared the room, Comey said Chief of Staff "Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock and I could see a group of people waiting behind him".

The attorney general has recused himself from the Russia investigation - a decision he sought to cast on Tuesday as resulting from his role on the Trump campaign, rather than because of any inappropriate interaction with Russian officials. Lindsey Graham, Rosenstein said that having given political donations is not a disqualifier. "Sen. Franken asked me a rambling question after some six hours of testimony that included dramatic, new allegations". And he can expect questions about his involvement in Comey's May 9 firing, the circumstances surrounding his decision to recuse himself from the FBI's investigation, and whether any of his actions - such as interviewing candidates for the FBI director position or meeting with Trump about Comey - violated his recusal pledge.

The hearing will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET and Sessions is expected to be grilled about his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign as well as his role in the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

If Trump were targeting Mueller, dismissing him would not be a simple matter. Trump "should voluntarily turn them over", Collins said.

The attorney general will also face questions about whether he met Kislyak on a third occasion as reported by several media outlets. The list of people who would fit that profile is short, but it would include Devin Nunes - the congressman served on Trump's transition team - and, of course, Jeff Sessions.

On Tuesday, Sessions will have the chance to give his own answer in person - or explain to senators what other conversations he and Trump may have had on this subject about which Comey might not have been aware.

The panel's top Democrat Sen. Scott Pelley will anchor the special report from NY along with John Dickerson and Jan Crawford.

Rosenstein says the attorney general would be the only one who could fire Mueller.

As a longtime senator from Alabama, Sessions will be granted some degree of deference, at least from Republicans.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says testimony from former FBI Director James Comey "reflected very poorly on members of the Obama administration as well".

The Wisconsin Republican commented in response to a Trump friend, Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, who suggested Monday night that the president was already thinking about "terminating" Mueller from his position as special counsel.

Newsmax CEO and Trump friend Chris Ruddy rang the alarms Monday, saying that Trump was seriously considering firing Robert Mueller, who is leading the federal Russian Federation probe. But Sessions recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation in March after the revelations of the two Kislyak meetings.

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