The comment by Sessions to a House of Representatives panel did not reveal any new link between the Trump team and Russian Federation but it was another example of the top USA law enforcement official offering a different version of events as lawmakers try to work out if the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 election.
At a House Judiciary hearing Tuesday, Sessions stressed the "factual basis" that must be met to warrant a special counsel, as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) grilled him on what Jordan said "looks like" the Federal Bureau of Investigation working with Democrats to push the Trump-Russia dossier. He said recently that officials there "should be looking at the Democrats" and that it was "very discouraging" they were not "going after Hillary Clinton".
"We intend to ask you about these inconsistencies", the committee's Democratic members said in a November 7 letter to Sessions, who has recused himself from investigations into the conclusions of USA intelligence agencies that Moscow meddled in the 2016 USA election to help then-Republican candidate Donald Trump's campaign.
The hearing comes after a year where Sessions has been under repeated pressure from the President to launch investigations into Clinton and has been under fire from congressional Democrats about his answers on Russian Federation and push end the DACA program for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, among other issues. "When Republican Representative Jim Jordan detailed what the controversy "looks like" to him, the attorney general responded: "'Looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel".
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, where he is likely to face questions on Russia's election interference.
Sessions asked with a slight smirk.
"I did not, and I'm not aware of anyone else that did, and I don't believe it happened", Sessions said in his former testimony.
The department's response from Stephen E. Boyd, an assistant attorney general, expresses the importance of the department's "duty to carefully evaluate" ongoing matters "in a non-political manner", noting "the Department does not ordinarily confirm or deny investigations, and this letter should not be construed to do so".
In court records, prosecutors said Papadopoulos told a March 31, 2016 meeting of campaign officials that he had Russian connections and could help arrange a meeting with Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sessions testified that he now remembers the meeting Papadopoulos, but his memory about conversations is limited.
"I cannot imagine my memory failing so much", she said. "Before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October you stated under oath "I don't recall" in some form of fashion 29 times", Jeffries asked.
"The Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents".
The department said in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee Monday that Sessions had directed senior federal prosecutors to "evaluate certain issues" raised in recent weeks by members of Congress, which include allegations that the Clinton Foundation benefited from a years-old uranium transaction involving a Russian-backed company.