Sessions changes statement about Trump campaign and Russian Federation

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he now recalls a meeting with then-candidate Donald Trump and aides where campaign connections to Russian Federation were discussed, despite earlier testifying that he was unaware of any such contacts.

Democrats have accused Republicans of launching a spurious investigation of Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, to divert attention from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged links between President Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

But the court documents, and Papadopoulos' guilty plea for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation over his contacts with Russian officials, put new focus on Sessions' earlier testimony. He said he mentioned in passing to Sessions that he was visiting Russian Federation and the then-senator had no reaction.

"The attorney general of the United States of America should not be held to a different standard than the young police officer whose life you ruined for prosecuting him for perjury", Jeffries said.

"The president speaks his mind; he is bold and direct in what he says", Sessions told members of the House Judiciary Committee. But if the Department doesn't launch an investigation, Sessions will be seen as having defied the president and let down the GOP at a moment when it's eager to get to the bottom of the dossier mystery and to push Democrats into the Russiagate spotlight.

Sessions is at the hearing to answer questions about his leadership of the Department of Justice and his interactions with Russians while a top adviser in the Trump campaign.

Donald Trump feels insulted being called 'old' by Kim Jong Un
The post came in response to the country's foreign ministry calling Trump "an old lunatic" over his speech in South Korea. In the first of three successive tweets Sunday morning, Trump hit back at his critics.

A photograph posted on Trump's Instagram account shows that Papadopoulos, Sessions and Trump were all seated at the same table in that meeting.

"All of you have been in a campaign", Sessions told lawmakers.

He did, however, say he stands by his January statement that "the proper thing for me to do would be for me to recuse myself" on matters involving Clinton, given his past involvement in the Trump campaign.

During the March 2016 campaign meeting where Russia was discussed, Sessions shut down Papadopoulos' idea of engaging with Russian contacts, according to a source familiar with the matter. His letter, signed by 19 other Republicans, said that Judiciary Committee members were concerned that Mueller might not have a broad enough mandate to investigate other election-related matters, which he said included actions taken by Comey, Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. But he said he had no memory of that conversation. The move, detailed in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, comes after Trump has criticized his Justice Department for not doing more investigation of his former political rival.

Mrs. Clinton's campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, has said suggestions they did were "baseless".

Elsewhere in his testimony, Sessions disappointed congressional Republicans by saying that the Justice Department would need a "factual basis" to appoint a second special counsel tasked with investigating Hillary Clinton's role in the Uranium One deal, and that no such basis now exists.

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