Sessions faces Congress amid new Russia probe details

WASHINGTON (AP) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions returns to Capitol Hill Tuesday amid growing evidence of contacts between Russians and associates of President Donald Trump. And he’ll be bracing for an onslaught of lawmakers’ questions about how much he knew of that outreach during last year’s White House campaign.

The appearance before the House Judiciary Committee follows a guilty plea from one Trump campaign aide who served on a foreign policy council that Sessions chaired, as well as statements from another adviser who said he’d advised the then-GOP Alabama senator about an upcoming trip to Russia.

Those details complicate Sessions’ effort to downplay knowledge of the campaign’s foreign contacts.

Sessions’ testimony is expected to begin at 9 a.m. (central) and News Five plans to broadcast the hearing live on the WKRG Facebook Page.

The testimony comes as Sessions is leaving open the possibility that a special counsel could be appointed to look into Clinton Foundation dealings and a uranium deal during the Obama administration.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, a Justice Department official says Sessions has directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate concerns raised by Republican lawmakers.

The letter says the prosecutors will recommend whether an investigation is merited, whether any matters currently under investigation require more resources and whether it is necessary to appoint a special counsel.

The letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd came one day before Sessions will appear before the House Judiciary Committee for a Justice Department oversight hearing.

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