Sessions to answer Senate Dems' questions in writing

Sessions to answer Senate Dems' questions in writing
© Greg Nash

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE will answer Senate Democrats’ questions about his meetings with Russia's U.S. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in writing on Monday, Reuters reported.

Sessions came under fire this week after the revelation that he met twice with Kislyak during President Trump’s campaign last year, then denied doing so during his confirmation hearing in January.

He recused himself on Thursday from federal investigations into Russian election meddling and President Trump’s potential ties to Moscow.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the panel’s chairman Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' Democrat rips Justice for not appearing at US gymnastics hearing MORE (R-Iowa) on Friday, asking him to call Sessions before the committee to answer questions about the meeting.

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Grassley, however, said he would not hold a hearing for the attorney general.

The Justice Department said later that day that Sessions would submit written responses to the questions.

Sessions denied any wrongdoing in the meetings with Kislyak, arguing that he met with the ambassador in September in his capacity as a then-member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Washington Post reported that no other committee member met with Kislyak.

During a Jan. 10 confirmation hearing to become attorney general, Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he never met with Russian officials.

The revelation of the meetings was one in a series of controversies roiling the Trump administration in its early days. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned last month amid allegations that he discussed U.S. sanctions with Kislyak in the month before Trump took office.

Several other current and former Trump aides have also reportedly held meetings with Kislyak.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the Kremlin sought to help Trump’s presidential bid by running an extensive hacking and influence campaign during the 2016 race.

Those efforts, and Trump and his associates’ ties to Moscow, are the subject of ongoing government investigations.