jeff sessions

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that his "story has never changed" about his and other Trump campaign officials' connections to Russia.

"I will not accept, and reject accusations that I have ever lied," Sessions said. "That is a lie!"

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.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On this edition of "Political Rewind," after rolling out their long-awaited tax reform plan, House GOP leaders are already facing resistance from their own ranks, and Democrats are pushing back hard. Also, a new eyewitness report indicates that Jeff Sessions was more aware of efforts to connect the Trump campaign to Russia than he’s admitted. Now Democrats want him to explain himself.

The deputy attorney general strode onto the stage last week in a seventh-floor conference room at the Justice Department to announce criminal charges against two Chinese men who used the Internet to sell deadly synthetic drugs.

"These cases reflect a new and disturbing facet of the opioid crisis in America," Rod Rosenstein, the second-in-command at Justice, told reporters who gathered for what was billed as a major development in the fentanyl epidemic that's afflicting the nation.

It has been a quarter of a century since reliably red Alabama elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. But Democrats see an opening in the upcoming special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions' old seat because of the controversial record of Republican candidate Roy Moore, which includes twice being removed from public office.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing Wednesday. There's a lot to discuss.

In eight months as the nation's top federal law enforcement official, Sessions has presided over a series of Justice Department reversals — from police oversight and voting rights litigation to protections for the LGBT community.

President Trump's brand faces a major test on Tuesday in the Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff.

His preferred candidate is Luther Strange, the incumbent senator who has consistently trailed in the polls to firebrand conservative Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court justice.

Trump was just in Alabama stumping for Strange on Friday, where he landed himself in controversy, calling for the firing of NFL players who don't stand for the national anthem.

The Republican Party's infighting is on full display in Alabama ahead of next week's Senate runoff — a race that's getting nastier by the day.

Los Angeles sued the Justice Department on Tuesday over the Trump administration's threat to cut millions in federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities, which limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

The Justice Department has experienced an "explosion" in the number of referrals, or requests for probes, this year from intelligence agencies over the leak of classified information, prompting the attorney general to consider whether to loosen regulations on when it can subpoena media organizations.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday attended a conference for black law enforcement officials and promoted his new crime-fighting agenda. Much of the attention, however, went to some recent comments by President Trump that officers should not to be "too nice" to suspects in custody.

When Sessions walked into the hotel ballroom in Atlanta, the reception was professional and polite. Sessions spoke to members of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and lamented the damage crime does to struggling neighborhoods.

Black Police Worry Community Relationships Being Undermined

Aug 1, 2017
WCN 24/7 / Flickr/CC

The Trump administration's tough talk on crime and the treatment of suspects has left black police officers worried that efforts to repair the fraught relationship between police and minority communities could be derailed.

Updated at 8:50 p.m. ET

President Trump is famous for requiring the loyalty of his subordinates. But it's the loyalty of Republican senators — not to him but to one of their own — that is the heart of a simmering showdown between the White House and Congress.

A growing number of GOP lawmakers appear to have had enough with what one has called the president's "public floggings" in recent days of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a onetime senator from Alabama for served on Capitol Hill for two decades before joining the Trump administration.

President Trump won the election eight months ago.

President Trump is keeping up relentless pressure on his attorney general, telling reporters "time will tell" whether Jeff Sessions stays or goes.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will stay at his post for "as long as that is appropriate." That follows comments by President Trump, who said he wouldn't have appointed Sessions had he known Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

President Trump says if he had known ahead of time that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he would have chosen someone else for the post, calling the move "very unfair."

In an interview with The New York Times, he also accused James Comey, the FBI director that he fired in May, of trying to save his job by leveraging a dossier of compromising material on Trump.

Updated 2 p.m.

A day late, the Justice Department complied this morning with a federal court order and released part of a security clearance form dealing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' contacts with foreign governments.

On June 12, a judge had ordered the agency to provide the information within 30 days, a deadline that passed on Wednesday.

In a filing Thursday morning with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department released that part of Sessions' form which poses the question:

John Huber is a career prosecutor in Utah who's served in both Democratic and Republican administrations. This month, the Trump White House nominated him to serve as a U.S. attorney in that state.

But it came as something of a surprise to current and former Justice Department veterans Wednesday when Huber appeared for a news conference in Washington: not in the halls of Justice, but at the White House podium.

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

President Trump issued an eyebrow-raising tweet Friday morning.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," he wrote.

Trump's tweet comes less than a day after a strange statement from a senior official in his administration.

Updated at 9:55 a.m. ET on June 15

President Trump dismissed a potential obstruction of justice investigation into his conduct, calling allegations of collusion between him, his campaign or people associated with him and Russia a "phony story."

Of course, it's possible to obstruct justice without colluding.

Jeff Sessions did exactly what he needed to do Tuesday — help himself in the eyes of his boss, President Trump, and, in turn, help Trump.

The attorney general, an early Trump supporter, revealed little in the congressional hearing about the ongoing Russia saga or Trump's role in possibly trying to quash the investigation looking into it.

Using vague legal justification, Sessions shut down potentially important lines of investigative questioning — and that may be exactly how the White House wants it.

The nation's top legal officer is set to go before Congress on Tuesday to try to defuse a bomb that the former FBI director dropped into his lap.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee less than one week after James Comey told the committee he could not discuss openly certain information about Sessions' recusal from the investigation into Russia's election meddling last year.

Architect of the Capitol

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee at 2:30 p.m. ET today, as the investigation continues into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, it will be in a hearing that is open to the public. A Justice Department spokeswoman tells NPR that Sessions requested it be public.

The hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Former FBI director James Comey may have done more damage to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday than even President Trump, whom Comey publicly accused of waving him off part of the Russia investigation.

Comey said he expected Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation weeks before he did because of reasons that are classified. That does not comport with Sessions rationale when he announced his recusal in early March.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions "at one point recently" offered to resign because his relationship with President Trump had grown so tense, according to reports from ABC News and multiple other news outlets.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is narrowing the scope of an executive order on so-called sanctuary cities.

A federal judge in California last month blocked a key part of that order, reasoning that the Trump administration had overstepped by threatening to yank federal money from those places.

Pages