Feinstein calls for Sessions to testify in light of new Russia report

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is once again calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify before the panel, this time over a report suggesting he discussed policy issues with Russia’s ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Feinstein sent a letter Monday to Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) demanding that he invite Sessions to testify, citing a Washington Post report that the then-Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, told his superiors he discussed campaign-related issues with Sessions last year.

“If this is true, it would be directly contrary to the testimony that Attorney General Sessions gave — under oath — before the Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings,” Feinstein wrote. “This is a serious matter, and the Judiciary Committee must hear directly from the Attorney General.”

She noted in her letter that it’s been six months since Sessions’ confirmation hearing and that "despite repeated requests from me and other members," he still has not been invited to return to the Judiciary Committee for testimony.

“It would be a grave breach of trust if the Attorney General gave false or misleading testimony to this Committee,” she added.

Sessions came under fire for telling the Judiciary panel during his confirmation hearing that he did not meet with Russian officials during the campaign. He later acknowledged two meetings with Kislyak but said they were in his capacity as a senator and that he did not discuss issues related to the Trump campaign.

Feinstein’s call for Sessions to testify comes as he is fending off criticism from President Donald Trump, who told The New York Times last week he would not have tapped Sessions as attorney general if he had known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Sessions responded that he planned to continue as attorney general "as long as that is appropriate.”

On Monday, Trump referred to Sessions on Twitter as "our beleaguered A.G."

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