Attorney General Jeff Sessions has accepted an invitation to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday.
USA Today reports that Sessions’ testimony is expected to be behind closed doors and to focus on the Feb. 14 meeting in the Oval Office in which, according to former FBI Director James Comey, Sessions was asked to step out of the room to leave Comey and the president alone. In addition, he’s likely to be questioned about meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and his involvement in the president’s decision to fire Comey.
“In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey’s recent testimony,” the attorney general wrote in a letter Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on justice, “it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in (the Senate Intelligence Committee, which) has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information.”
Originally, Sessions was to testify Tuesday before the House and Senate subcommittees that oversee his department’s budget but, as the AG wrote in his letter to the chairman of the subcommittee, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be stepping in for him.
“Some members have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, from which I have recused, and for which the deputy attorney general appointed a special counsel,” Sessions wrote.
“The Senate intelligence committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters, as it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information,” he added.