Sessions denies being influenced by Trump to investigate Hillary Clinton

Sessions Leahy

Sessions also said on Tuesday he did not challenge a statement by another campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, that he told Sessions in a brief encounter that he was about to leave for Moscow.

Sessions, who faced tough questioning from committee Democrats on Tuesday, vigorously denied lying to congress about contacts with Russian Federation.

The question stemmed from news Monday night that Sessions had asked senior aides to determine if the department should probe an Obama administration decision that allowed Russian Federation to acquire a financial interest in US uranium supplies.

The president has said the Justice Department should instead be investigating Mrs. Clinton's involvement in the Uranium One deal and donations to her family's charitable foundation.

"The president speaks his mind; he is bold and direct in what he says", Sessions told members of the House Judiciary Committee.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The sale of Uranium One, a Canadian firm with rights to mine USA uranium, to a Russian company is in the news again with the Department of Justice signaling it could appoint a special counsel to look into the matter.

Sessions testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, and testified that he had no knowledge of any contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. In his testimony before Congress Tuesday, Sessions tried to account for this apparent discrepancy. Sessions said he no memory of that interaction.

Some legal experts said there is a strong argument that Sessions committed perjury at an October 18 oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Investigating political opponents, particularly vanquished ones, is a particularly slippery slope that clearly Trump, who will only have to live another decade or so in the half-cocked America he creates, surely has no problem hydroplaning down.

Last month, he faced the Senate judiciary committee for further questions about his changing story, with Democrats dismayed that Sessions continued to cite executive privilege in refusing to discuss any conversations with President Donald Trump.

"I did not, and I'm not aware of anyone else that did, and I don't believe it happened", Sessions said in his former testimony. [John] Danforth took over that investigation as special counsel - and Mr. Mueller.

However, Stuart Green, a professor of criminal law at Rutgers University School of Law, said Sessions would have a plausible argument that Papadopoulos' communications were not the type of contacts Franken was asking about since they were with Russian government intermediaries rather than Russian officials.

"These senior prosecutors will report directly to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not now under investigation should be opened, whether any matters now under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit a special counsel", Boyd wrote.

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