Tags: chris coons | jeff sessions | testimony | shield | russia

Sen. Coons: Sessions Trying to 'Shield His Testimony' From Public

(CNN)

By    |   Monday, 12 Jun 2017 11:35 AM

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to "shield his testimony from the American people" by testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Chris Coons told CNN's "New Day" on Monday.

Coons, a Democrat who serves on the Judiciary Committee and Appropriations Committee, said Sessions "has declined for months to appear in front of the Judiciary Committee, and as of this weekend he's now seeking to testify in front of Intel.

"That may well be because he's trying to have his testimony be shielded from the American people, and I don't think that's appropriate."

Following fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony last week that Sessions might have had a third, unreported meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the attorney general offered to testify before the same panel.

Coon told CNN that, "I don't think that on an issue as important as whether or not the attorney general is acting outside the scope of his recusal, whether he misled our committee, the Judiciary Committee, about a third meeting with the Russian ambassador, that shouldn't be held in secret."

Sessions had been scheduled to appear before the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees, but said in a statement he would be sending a deputy instead, the Washington Examiner reported.

The attorney general explained in a letter to the Senate subcommittee that "In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey's testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum."

When CNN asked what was wrong with Sessions going before the same committee that heard Comey's testimony, Coons acknowledged that maybe that was a "good first step," but added that "the Judiciary Committee has the oversight responsibility for the Department of Justice. It is the Judiciary Committee that has more former prosecutors and more lawyers on it, more folks familiar with what happens in the Justice Department than any other committee in the Senate."

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to "shield his testimony from the American people" by testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Chris Coons told CNN's "New Day" on Monday.
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Monday, 12 Jun 2017 11:35 AM
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