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After another brief pause, Sessions said, "The answer's no".

Calling Russian President Vladimir Putin an "opportunist", Sasse asked Sessions whether the administration and Justice Department were doing enough to prepare for upcoming elections.

So the Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who's got, what, 27 years in the Department of Justice, Harvard graduate, served for eight years, as U.S. attorney on the, under President Obama and four years under President Bush, he said that was a usurpation of the position of the Department of Justice, that position.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, whose tenure was embroiled in controversy, had some strong words this week for the Trump administration's position on key issues involving the criminal justice system.

Al Franken (D-MN) detailed how Attorney General Jeff Sessions has moved repeatedly the goalposts about his communications with Russians. But consistent with the longstanding policy and practice of the Executive Branch, I can neither assert Executive Privilege nor can I disclose today the content of my confidential conversations with the president, ' Sessions told the committee.

Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr Sessions it was "the first time I'm aware of" in which an FBI director had performed the traditional role of Justice Department prosecutors by announcing the conclusion of a federal investigation.

Sessions' policy, which he sent to agency heads and US Attorneys this month, does not create new law, but rather interprets how the government should construe the Constitution and existing federal law.

Yet when asked during a Senate hearing on Wednesday about hypothetical scenarios in which the directive could be used to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, Sessions spoke like a man just learning about prejudice for the first time. He additionally expressed confidence that the administration would eventually succeed, should the matter again make its way to the country's highest court.

"Under the guidance you released to all executive departments on religious liberty, let me ask you this question: Could a Social Security Administration employee refuse to accept or process spousal or survivor benefits paperwork for a surviving same-sex spouse?" Dianne Feinstein, Sessions refused to say whether he also discussed with Trump Comey's involvement in the Russian Federation investigation.

The questions were hardly out of left field - or unfamiliar to the Justice Department.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told Sessions he was "not helping us solve the murder problem in the city of Chicago" by cutting federal funding intending to assist law enforcement. "Maybe you better check your source", he added.

Sessions agreed that community-based policing was necessary and attempted to defend his department's commitment to solving Chicago's gun violence crisis by noting that 12 additional Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were assigned to prosecute gun crimes. "It is a real challenge for us to reconcile those", Durbin told Sessions on Wednesday.

After yet another exchange, Sessions told Blumenthal, "Well you seem to know, so I don't want to come in here and be trapped if you know something I don't know". He did ask for our written opinion, and we submitted that to him.