Democratic Senator Jack Reed said on Sunday he would question U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions why he was involved in the firing last month of FBI Director James Comey after he had recused himself from matters relating to the Russian Federation probe.
The White House initially cited memos from Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommending Comey's firing over his handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe as the reason for his dismissal, and did not mention the Russian Federation investigation.
Lankford said Sessions' testimony Tuesday will help flesh out the truth of Comey's allegations, including Sessions' presence at the White House in February when Trump asked to speak to Comey alone. He instead advocated for broad presidential powers to curtail immigration, an issue that drew him to candidate Trump early.
"The President generally has the upper hand just because he has a bigger pulpit", March said.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of OR, also a member of the intelligence panel, sent a letter to panel Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and Warner asking for the hearing to be open.
Comey's dramatic testimony drew invective from his former boss on Twitter, with Trump dismissing him as a leaker on Friday and a coward on Sunday. "Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'" he wrote Sunday.
Trump has denied Comey's version of events. Trump told me and other reporters over the years that he had a taping system in his Trump Tower office that he used to record journalists meeting with him. If there aren't tapes, he should let that be known. "Anything's that's classified, they can do in a separate classified briefing", Schumer said. On Monday, President Trump held his first meeting with his full cabinet, reminding his team, "We're here to change Washington".
He said Trump reached out to him again after the inauguration but he refused to call back, shortly before he was sacked. And if he acknowledges he had some concerns, he will open up a new line of questioning about the conduct of President Trump and his advisers.
Trump's own lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, has had problems getting his facts straight, too.
"I don't understand why the president just doesn't clear this matter up once and for all", said Sen. Was anyone present when you held your conversation with Mr. Comey on February 15 about communication protocols between Federal Bureau of Investigation and the White House? And if so, did he know it would become public? "The attorney general has requested that this hearing be public".
Reed noted that other members of the administration "walked around" questions at recent hearings.
Sessions is skipping a separate hearing on Tuesday on the Justice Department's budget and sending his deputy for the session that will be open to the public.
Sessions had been scheduled to appear before the Appropriations Committee this week but chose to send a deputy instead. Sen. "You can't run forever", Leahy tweeted.
Pressure mounted at the start of the week following reports that Sessions offered his resignation to Trump because the President blamed Sessions for exacerbating his Russian Federation problems by recusing himself from the probe.
Mr Trump had himself attributed his dismissal of Mr Comey to the Russian Federation investigation.
As for the timing of his recusal, Comey said the FBI expected the attorney general to take himself out of the matters under investigation weeks before he actually did.