Sessions said those policies that prevented him answering questions, despite various senators saying there was no legality that should limit him from answering.
Sessions, a close Trump adviser during the battle for the presidency, said in his opening statement that it was a "detestable and appalling lie" to suggest he was aware of or participated in any collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. The Oregon Democrat was questioning Sessions about why he could sign the letter recommending the firing of Comey if it violated his recusal.
The Justice Department subsequently released decades-old memos from its Office of Legal Counsel that it said supported Sessions' position.
In closely-watched congressional testimony, Sessions fiercely denounced allegations that he acted improperly during a series of meetings with Russian officials - or that he knew of any attempt at collusion by a member of the Trump campaign team. Republicans were mostly non-combative, if not friendly to Sessions Tuesday, maybe none more so than Sen.
For the second time in two months, Attorney General Jeff Sessions abruptly canceled an appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee, instead sending Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
And while he had recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, Sessions insisted, "I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations".
"I can not and will not violate my duty to protect the confidential communications I have with the president", he said.
In a snappy exchange with Sen.
The problems with the handling of that investigation "were more widespread than most people know", he said. While Democrats complained about a lack of answers, Republicans countered that the Sessions hearing showed a lack of evidence that tied the Trump Campaign to anything nefarious involving Russian Federation.
When Sessions declined to answer a similar question from Sen.
Turkey says Qatar deployment aims to ensure security
The incident triggered a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbors. "We are now buying Turkish products", he said. But the states did not respond to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's warning of humanitarian consequences.
"I affirmed his concern that we should be following the proper guidelines of the Department of Justice". Ron Wyden (D-OR), Comey was asked why he didn't immediately disclose Trump's request to drop the investigation against the former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn investigation to Sessions, who, at the time, had not yet recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation. "Certainly I can assure you, nothing improper, if I had had a conversation with him". Wyden. There are none. Peppered with questions by the California Democrat Kamala Harris, Sessions, the former senator from Alabama with a troubled civil rights record, said: "I'm not able to be rushed this fast".
The president sacked Comey in early May.
He refused to say whether Trump ordered him out of the room so that the president could tell the then Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, to go easy on Michael Flynn.
Though the Justice Department maintains that it has fully disclosed the extent of Sessions' foreign contacts past year, lawmakers have continued to press him for answers about an April 2016 event at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where both Sessions and Kislyak attended a foreign policy speech by Trump.
In a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to answer questions about conversations he had with the president at least seven different times. "Those were lies, plain and simple", Comey said. Shelby chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee.
If Trump were targeting Mueller, dismissing him would not be a simple matter.
Has he discussed the possibility of pardoning anyone involved in the investigation with Trump? They also asked if he held a secret meeting with the Russian ambassador without disclosing it to investigators. "It's good to see Mary", Blunt said. "It is absurd, frankly, to suggest that a recusal from a single specific investigation would render an attorney general unable to manage the leadership of the various Department of Justice law enforcement components that conduct thousands of investigations", he said.
"I am protecting the right of the president to assert it if he chooses", Sessions said.
But the investigation has settled like a cloud over the White House, overshadowing even Trump's stalled domestic agenda and disastrous foreign trip.