Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, where he faced more questions about Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections and its possible ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Sessions, a key adviser on Mr. Trump’s campaign, came under renewed scrutiny earlier this month after former campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to misleading FBI agents about his contact with Russia.
Two other campaign officials — former campaign chair Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates — are also facing charges of money laundering, making false statements to federal authorities and acting as unregistered foreign agents, the first indictments to come from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
In October, Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he did not have any contact with Russian officials while he was still a senator and working on Trump’s campaign. “I’m not aware of anyone else that did,” he added.
But court documents related to Papadopoulos’ guilty plea indicate that Papadopoulos offered to set up a meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Trump during a March 2016 campaign meeting that Sessions attended.
Tuesday’s hearing will likely focus on that meeting as well as Sessions’ other contacts with Papadopoulos, Manafort and Gates.
On Twitter, shortly after Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, Trump said the “young, low level volunteer named George” “has already proven to be a liar,” suggesting investigators instead “check the Dems.”
Late Monday, the Washington Post and Politico both reported that the Department of Justice also sent a letter to House Republicans that raised the possibility of hiring a second special counsel, this one to investigate possible wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation.
House Judiciary Committee chair Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., has twice called for Sessions to investigate a range of his other concerns about the 2016 elections, the Post reported.
Sessions recused himself from all investigations related to Russia and the elections in March, shortly after taking office.
PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.