Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly cancels open session testimony- fears questions about Russia (Details)

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Attorney General Jeff Session was expected to testify in an open session before the House and Senate appropriations committees on Tuesday. However, on Saturday, he unexpectedly canceled.

Sessions had sent a letter to the committee’s chairman that says he will have Rod Rosenstein fill in for him. In the letter, he explains that he believes the committee members will question him on “issues related to the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.”

Since Comey’s testimony, it raised more questions about Sessions’ involvement with Russia and Comey’s firing.

In his statement, Comey mentioned that he could not go to Sessions in regards to Trump attempting to stop the Russian investigation.

“Our judgment, as I recall, is that [Sessions] was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts that I can’t discuss in an opening setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic,” Comey said in his testimony.

It was later revealed that Sessions had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian officials during the campaign.

Rather than testifying publically, Sessions will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed setting.

An excerpt from the letter:

“I previously accepted an invitation to testify on behalf of the Department of Justice before the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees about the departments FY18 budget, which funds the department’s efforts in several important areas such as combating the opiod Crisis and violent crime,” Sessions wrote in a letter to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, and Rep. John Abney Culberson, R-Texas, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies.

“In light of reports regarding [former FBI director James] Comey’s recent testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum,” Sessions continued. “The Senate Intelligence Committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters, as it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information.”

Sessions goes on to explain that he will send a replacement.

Here is the full letter from Twitter:

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