Attorney General Jeff Sessions maintained Tuesday that he has "always told the truth", refuting before House lawmakers reports that he may have lied about meetings with Trump campaign officials regarding contact with Russian officials.
Sessions pointed out that prior to Trump's administration, there were only nine investigations of classified leaks in the last three years, compared with the 27 under scrutiny today.
After the meeting, Sessions said, he did not have "any further knowledge" of additional contacts between the campaign and Russian officials.
The lawmakers enumerated a long list of questionable activities by James Comey, Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others.
"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.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said five congressional committees, including the oversight panel, had investigated the deal and "identified no evidence to substantiate allegations that Secretary Clinton orchestrated, manipulated, or otherwise coerced" the interagency committee to approve the deal.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, raised a similar concern on Twitter last night: "If the AG bends to pressure from President Trump and his allies, and appoints a special counsel to investigate Trump's vanquished rival, it could spell the end of the DOJ as an independent institution".
Sessions, who was a Republican senator for Alabama before he was appointed attorney general, is also set to testify before Goodlatte's committee Tuesday and was likely to face questions on the topics raised in the letter.
Earlier, Sessions confirmed that he has asked senior federal prosecutors to look into the potential appointment of a second special counsel.
"You can be sure that they will be done without political influence and they will be done correctly and properly", Sessions said.
According to court documents, Papadopoulos told the meeting he could help use his Russian connections to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended, but I have no clear recollection of the details of what he said at that meeting", Sessions explained. "And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have just thrown a wrench into GOP plans to open a new federal investigation of Hillary Clinton.
And at his latest appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions seemed to shift his position again.
Sessions testified that he now remembers the meeting Papadopoulos, but his memory about conversations is limited.
In terms of the CFIUS approval, Clinton has said she had nothing to do with it.
"The Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents".
"Hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out", Trump said.