Experts Available on Sessions Testimony
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify in a public hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at 2:30 pm this afternoon to address questions surrounding his recusal from the Russia investigation and his role in the dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey.
Sessions was invited to appear before the Intelligence Committee to respond to Comey’s public testimony about a one-on-one meeting between Comey and President Trump, in which Trump allegedly asked Comey to drop the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. In particular, Comey testified that Sessions did not respond to his request to make sure Comey and Trump had no further one-on-one meetings, and that FBI officials decided not to inform Sessions of the content of the meeting because they expected he would soon recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Sessions recused himself on March 2, citing his role in Trump’s campaign and his failure to disclose at least two meetings with the Russian ambassador during the course of his confirmation hearings. Sessions will face new inquiries from former Senate colleagues about his contact with Russia during and following the election, and his involvement in President Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9.
The following Brennan Center team members with expertise in oversight of intelligence activities, national security, and the FBI are available to comment:
- Elizabeth (Liza) Goitein is co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. She focuses on a range of issues at the intersection of national security policy and civil liberties, including the oversight mechanisms in place for intelligence activities. She has written about the implications of Comey’s firing and the need for a robust congressional investigation to supplement that of the special counsel. She also dissected Comey’s testimony in The New York Times as well as other print and television outlets.
- Faiza Patel is co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. She focuses on national security and counterterrorism issues. She is the lead author of the Brennan Center's recent report Trump-Russia Investigations: A Guide, and has commented on various aspects of the investigation for several outlets.
- Michael German, a Brennan Center fellow, is a sixteen-year veteran of federal law enforcement who served as a special agent with the FBI, where he focused on domestic terrorism cases and covert operations. He twice infiltrated extremist groups using constitutionally sound law enforcement techniques, and left the Bureau after reporting ongoing deficiencies in FBI counterterrorism operations to Congress.
- Rachel Levinson-Waldman serves as Senior Counsel to the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, where she is focuses on issues of national security, privacy, and surveillance. She co-authored the Brennan Center's recent report Trump-Russia Investigations: A Guide, and has recently testified at a House of Representatives Democratic hearing on the role of Congress in exercising its duty for oversight and investigation.