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Al Franken, Minnesota senator, wants Jeff Sessions to testify again after anonymous report

Sen. Al Franken wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to come back and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee after a report emerged Friday alleging that Mr. Sessions spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Mr. Sessions testified earlier this year that he didn’t speak with Russian officials about the campaign. In March, he recused himself from involvement in the Justice Department’s investigation into allegations of collusion between President Trump’s campaign team and the Russian government during the 2016 election because he had served as a campaign surrogate at the time for Mr. Trump.

But a Friday report from The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, said Mr. Kislyak spoke with the former Alabama senator about the campaign and reported that U.S. agents had obtained Mr. Kislyak’s communications.

“Chairman [Charles E.] Grassley does want him to come back,” Mr. Franken, Minnesota Democrat, said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to Iowa Republican who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Franken said he was unsure when or if Mr. Sessions would testify again before the Senate, since the Judiciary Committee is first scheduled to hear from Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign manager Paul Manafort behind closed doors.

Mr. Franken said the two should testify under oath and release all requested documents to the committee, after they reached a deal to avoid appearing in public to answer questions about a meeting they held last summer with a Russian attorney.

But Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said there is a big difference between alleged intercepts versus sworn testimony when asked about The Post’s report and Mr. Sessions.

“The Russian ambassador is our adversary and the Russians have shown themselves to be masters at misinformation,” Ms. Collins said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores has denied The Post’s report and said Mr. Sessions stands by his prior testimony.

But the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, said he’s concerned about Mr. Sessions’ communications with Russian officials last year even beyond what The Post reported.

“There’s a lot about what the Attorney General has said that just doesn’t hold much water,” Mr. Schiff said on “Face the Nation.”

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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