Sessions defends himself to Congress, says he never lied

Asked about his reported conversations with foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who met with Russian intermediaries in Europe, Sessions said he didn't initially recall a meeting in March 2016 where Papadopoulos suggested a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sessions came under fire last month after a former campaign advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to misleading investigators about his involvement with Russian Federation.

The Justice Department informed members of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday that it has directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate "certain issues" surrounding the Uranium One deal, the Clinton Foundation and other matters.

"You said one time that good people don't smoke marijuana", Cohen said, referring to statements Sessions made as a Senator previous year.

Following Mr. Sessions' recusal, responsibility of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election was passed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to take over the investigation into that matter and all related matters.

Later, Sessions said more firmly, "At the meeting, I pushed back". "But we do our duty every day based on the laws and fact".

Last week Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said there is "no question" that Sessions must appear before Congress again in an open session to "reconcile" his testimony.

The department's letter also referenced allegations that the FBI did not properly handle the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. "I have chose to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States", he said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions threw some cold water on the idea of appointing a special counsel to investigate various matters related to Hillary Clinton and Democrats, as some Republicans have called for.

Well, it's in the manual of the Department of Justice about what's required.

Sessions previously said he had "no recollection" of the meeting that he chaired that included Papadopoulos until a picture of it surfaced after the staffer's guilty plea for false statements.

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

Sessions has given sworn testimony at least three times to Senate and House committees, and Democratic lawmakers have pointed to inconsistencies in his statements. That time, he said he conducted no "improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding a campaign or any other item facing this country", though he allowed it was possible in one of his conversations "some comment was made about what Trump's positions were".

  • Joey Payne