For Attorney General Sessions, Hill Testimony Presents Risk And Opportunity : NPR

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and is expected to get questions about his oversight of the Justice Department and Trump campaign contacts with Russiain 2016

Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images


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Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and is expected to get questions about his oversight of the Justice Department and Trump campaign contacts with Russiain 2016

Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images

For Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday presents a risk — and an opportunity.

The risk lies in testifying under oath, for the fourth time this year, about his awareness of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election while he served as a top surrogate for President Trump.

The opportunity stems from his interrogators — a committee led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who’s been reluctant to pile on Sessions this year. Other GOP members of the panel are die-hard Trump supporters who have suggested firing special counsel Robert Mueller, the man leading the ongoing criminal investigation.

On the eve of the hearing, Sessions appeared to throw those Republicans — and his boss — a bone. The Justice Department sent a letter Monday night informing Goodlatte that it had directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate “whether any matters merit the appointment of [another] special counsel.” Earlier this year, Goodlatte had demanded a DOJ investigation into “alleged unlawful dealings at the Clinton Foundation” and other scandals focused on Democrats.

There’s a twist, though: Sessions has already promised to recuse himself from any investigations into Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation, given his campaign role. So the letter may raise yet another sensitive area on a hearing agenda already packed with them.

Here’s what to watch for in Tuesday’s hearing:

1. The Russia…

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