All eyes will be on Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday as he testifies in public to address issues related to former FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Sessions, who served in the Senate representing Alabama, will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ET. He was originally scheduled to testify on President Trump’s budget before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, but now Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will take his place.
The Justice Department’s public affairs division confirmed Monday that Sessions would speak in an open session after speculation that it could happen behind closed doors.
“The Attorney General has requested that this hearing be public. He believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee’s questions tomorrow,” the office said.
CBS News’ Major Garrett reports that Sessions wants push back on the idea that he’s on the outs with Trump or has done something improper. He also wants to challenge some of Comey’s testimony and remind senators and the public about some of the revelations involving Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s conduct during the 2016 campaign, based on conversations with those close to Sessions and White House officials.
Garrett also reports that Sessions will aggressively deny a third meeting occurred between him and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Comey is said to have told Senate Intelligence Committee members in closed session last week there was some evidence – apparently intercepts of Russian communications – suggesting Sessions met at the Mayflower Hotel with Kislyak on April 27, 2016 around Trump’s first foreign policy speech.
Sessions is also expected to discuss, in some detail, any memos Comey received from Sessions office – including a memo Sessions’ chief of staff sent to Comey and others about his recusal from the Russia investigation. Sessions may mention other correspondence. Comey left the impression he did not receive relevant communications from Sessions.