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A-G Sessions to testify in a public hearing

WASHINGTON: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in a public hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, the committee chairman said in a statement.

A Justice Department spokesman said Mr Sessions requested the open setting because "he believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him".

Mr Sessions' interactions with Russian officials during Mr Donald Trump's presidential campaign last year have come under scrutiny by the committee and federal investigators.

He will face questions about the firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and undeclared meetings with Russian officials.

Mr Sessions, an early and ardent supporter of US President Trump's 2016 election campaign, would be the highest government official to testify before the Senate intelligence committee in its probe of allegations that Russia may have sought to interfere in the election.

Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer and fellow Democratic Senator Jack Reed questioned on Sunday why Mr Sessions was involved in Mr Trump's May 9 dismissal of Mr Comey after he had recused himself from investigations of whether Russia meddled in the election, possibly with help from Trump associates.

"There's a real question of the propriety of the attorney-general participating in that in any way, shape or form," Mr Reed said on Fox News Sunday.

Russia has denied interfering in the US election. The White House has denied any collusion with Moscow.

Mr Sessions said in a letter on Saturday that he would appear before the committee to address matters that Mr Comey brought up last week in testimony to the same panel.

Mr Sessions is skipping a separate hearing today on the Justice Department's budget and sending his deputy for the session that will be open to the public. 
- REUTERS

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