Attorney General Jeff Sessions will deny meeting the Russian ambassador a third time Tuesday in an open hearing he requested, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Caller.
Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last week that Sessions was silent when Comey told him about his concerns about meeting with Trump alone. Department of Justice spokesman Ian Prior disputed this account last week. He said that the attorney general told Comey that the DOJ and FBI “needed to be careful about following appropriate policies regarding contacts with the White House.”
The source told TheDC that Sessions will testify similarly before the intelligence committee.
Senate Democrats had called for Sessions’ testimony to be public, and the source told TheDC that this was, in fact, a request from the DOJ. The source said that if Sessions testified in a closed hearing, Democrat senators would leak information from it, and then request an open hearing.
Comey participated in a closed hearing last week after his open hearing, and there were reports based on leaks from it that Comey said the attorney general had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign after it was discovered he had two previous undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador.
The source told TheDC that Sessions will deny this alleged third meeting with the Russian ambassador during Tuesday’s hearing. Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores has also denied that this meeting happened at the Mayflower Hotel in D.C. following a speech President Trump gave during the campaign.
Democrats are expected to question Sessions about his role in the firing of Comey and whether it was appropriate for Sessions to be involved as he recused himself from the investigation that Comey was leading.
The source said this is a “red herring,” as the FBI is involved in hundreds of matters.