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AG Sessions says he 'always told the truth' in describing Russian Federation contacts
15 November 2017, 12:54 | Terri Saunders
Justice Department Confirms Prosecutors Are "Evaluating" Claims Raised Against Hillary Clinton
Since President Donald Trump won last year's election, his company - the Trump Organization - has experienced an increase in one particular line of business: Hosting fundraisers and receptions for Republican lawmakers.
Sessions, addressing the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, said he recalled the March 2016 meeting where foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was present, "But I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said during that meeting".
More broadly, though, the renewed scrutiny of Clinton and the foundation reflects a political score Trump has a stated interest in settling, at a time that he would like far less interest in his own campaign's contacts with Russian Federation. He said recently that officials there "should be looking at the Democrats" and that it was "very discouraging" they were not "going after Hillary Clinton".
Sessions is due to testify before the House Judiciary Committee for a routine oversight hearing, but Democrats on the panel will grill him about a series of statements he made to the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he denied knowing about meetings between campaign aides and Russians.
"While I do not challenge [Carter Page's] recollection, I have no memory of his presence at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club or any passing conversation he may have had with me", Sessions said.
Papadopolous pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russians. He was part of the foreign policy council that Sessions chaired, and the two are among the men in a March 2016 photograph that Trump posted on social media.
According to court documents, Papadopoulos told the meeting he could help use his Russian connections to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Gordon has also said that Papadopoulos went around him and Sessions and that they did not know he had continued to try to arrange such a meeting.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, raised a similar concern on Twitter last night: "If the AG bends to pressure from President Trump and his allies, and appoints a special counsel to investigate Trump's vanquished rival, it could spell the end of the DOJ as an independent institution".
According to a source familiar with the matter, Sessions shut down Papadopoulos' idea of engaging with Russian Federation, and the Trump administration has played down Papadopoulos' role in the campaign, saying he was nothing more than a low level volunteer.
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