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US Lawmakers Push Attorney General On Russia-Related Contacts During Campaign


Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D., Calif.) criticized the Justice Department's letter on Monday, saying if the attorney general appoints a special counsel, it will be because he bends to pressure from Trump.

Mr Page's trip has drawn scrutiny in inquiries into Russia's meddling in the 2016 USA election.

Sessions testified in Congress that, following a guilty plea by Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, he now remembers a March 2016 meeting at which Papadopoulos was present and suggested he could arrange a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"That's what it looks like", he added, prompting Sessions reply.

Sessions, an early and leading supporter of Trump, was forced to recuse himself from oversight of the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign after he gave misleading statements about his own interactions.

"But I will not accept, and reject, accusations that I have ever lied under oath".

Accusations of collusion with Russian Federation during the election campaign have dogged Trump's first 10 months in office. It was a brilliant campaign in many ways. Brian Fallon, who served as the press secretary for the Clinton campaign, noted that the Justice Department letter became public not long after it was revealed Donald Trump Jr. had communicated with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election to help Republican Trump's campaign.

That prompted an angry backlash from Sessions.

"Nobody, nobody, not you or anybody else, not me, should be accused of perjury for answering a question the way I did in this hearing", Sessions said. "I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question as I understood them and to the best of my recollection, as I will continue to do today". She's conducted numerous lengthy interviews with the president and, according to White House sources, was on a short list to be named as deputy attorney general.




Sessions said that was the version of events he recalled.

Those details complicate Sessions' effort to downplay knowledge of the campaign's foreign contacts. Page has said publicly that he told Sessions past year that he was preparing to visit Russian Federation.

He said during January's confirmation hearing that he was unaware of such communications.

The hearing comes after a year where Sessions has been under repeated pressure from the President to launch investigations into Clinton and has been under fire from congressional Democrats about his answers on Russian Federation and push end the DACA program for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, among other issues. He told reporters he was "honest and correct" in his response in the hearing, although he acknowledged he should have mentioned he had met with the ambassador in his role as a senator.

"As for Mr. Page, while I do not challenge his recollection, I have no memory of his presence at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club or any passing conversation he may have had with me as he left", Sessions said.

The hearing was starkly divided.

Senior federal prosecutors are investigating Hillary Clinton, the sale of Uranium One, and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a move that may lead to the appointment of another independent prosecutor, Fox News reports.

Sessions was cautious on that score.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told lawmakers that the Department of Justice is investigating 27 leaks of classified information. Sessions asked with a slight smirk.

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