Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he has not been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey or as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign.
But Sessions, who was testifying before the committee as part of an oversight hearing, was hesitant to say whether he has been contacted at all by Mueller’s office as part of the probe.
(Update: Later in the hearing, Sessions said that he was informed by his office on Wednesday that Mueller’s team has not reached out to schedule an interview.)
Sessions was involved in President Trump’s May 9 decision to fire Comey from the FBI. He is also of potential interest to Mueller because of contacts he had last year, while serving as an Alabama senator and a member of the Trump campaign, with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“Have you been requested to interview by special counsel in connection with Director Comey’s firing, the Russia investigation, or your own contact with Russian officials?” Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Sessions.
“You will have asked the special counsel,” replied Sessions, who earlier in the hearing said he would not discuss his conversations with President Trump about the May 9 decision to fire Comey.
Leahy shot back: “No, I’m asking you.”
After Leahy repeated the question, Sessions responded, “I’d be pleased to answer that, but I am not sure I should without clearing that with the special counsel. What do you think?”
“Have you been interviewed by them?” Leahy pressed.
“No,” responded Sessions.
“You haven’t been interviewed by the special counsel in any way, shape or matter?” Leahy repeated.
“The answer’s no,” Sessions said after a notable pause.
Later in the hearing, Sessions said that he “absolutely” would cooperate and meet with Mueller if asked.