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Three Things to Watch in Jeff Sessions’ Testimony

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will go before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday to testify on the Russia investigation.

AG Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Monday that he would testify in an open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

His testimony should focus on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and will follow former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance last week.

Sessions can confirm or deny various aspects of Comey’s testimony regarding the investigation. Here’s what to watch for:

Possible Third Meeting Between Sessions and Kislyak: During Sessions’ confirmation hearing, the then-Alabama senator got into trouble over his denial that he had met with the Russians during the 2016 campaign. It turned out that Sessions had in fact actually met with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, though the details of the meeting are murky. However, in Comey’s recent testimony, he alluded to a third, classified possible meeting between Kislyak and Sessions. The attorney general will have the chance to clear up the fog surrounding his recusal from the Russian investigation.

Comey’s Meeting With Trump: Comey testified that following his meeting with the president in which Trump told Comey he hoped Comey could drop the Flynn investigation, Comey met with Sessions to request that the attorney general not leave him alone with Trump. According to Comey, Sessions did not respond. Sessions can address the contents of the meeting and what the then-FBI director told him when they met.

Sessions’ Recusal: Following the revelations that Sessions had incorrectly stated he had not met with the Russians, the attorney general recused himself from any matters relating to the Russia investigation. Some have questioned the sincerity of Sessions’ recusal, though, given his role in Comey’s dismissal. Further, Trump cited his main reason for firing Comey as his dissatisfaction with the Russia investigation. Members of the intelligence panel will surely press Sessions on his recusal and whether they can trust him to keep his hand out of the investigation.