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WATCH: Jeff Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee

Greg Myre | NPR

Attorney General Jeff Sessions can expect pointed questions from his former Senate colleagues Tuesday afternoon when he testifies before the same committee that last week hosted James Comey, the fired FBI director.

The Sessions session before the Senate Intelligence Committee comes just six days after Comey's appearance. The former FBI director discussed a host of issues surrounding Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, though his remarks also raised questions that may now be directed at Sessions.

Comey referred frequently to the attorney general, and included the tantalizing tidbit that there were "facts that I can't discuss in an open setting."

Sessions requested an open hearing, though it's not clear what he will and won't address in his televised testimony.

Before he became attorney general, Sessions served two decades as a Republican senator from Alabama. But Democrats on the Senate panel are likely to press him on issues such as his contacts with Russia and his role in the dismissal of Comey — who led the FBI's probe on Russia until he was ousted.

The attorney general, a prominent supporter of Donald Trump on the campaign trail, has recused himself from the DOJ Russia investigation. He has acknowledged two meetings last year with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak.

Senators are also expected to ask Sessions why, after recusing himself from the Russia inquiry, he signed a letter last month recommending that President Trump fire Comey.

Comey also said he told Sessions that he did not want to be left alone with Trump, because he didn't think it was appropriate for the president and the FBI director to have private meetings. The FBI is part of the Justice Department that Sessions heads.

The Justice Department has responded, citing the need to follow "appropriate policies regarding contacts with the White House."

But Sessions has not addressed this issue directly, or broader questions about his relationship with Comey.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

 

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