Blumenthal calls on Sessions, Rosenstein to testify - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Blumenthal calls on Sessions, Rosenstein to testify

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal called on the U.S. and deputy attorneys general to testify. (WFSB) Sen. Richard Blumenthal called on the U.S. and deputy attorneys general to testify. (WFSB)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal. (CNN photo) Sen. Richard Blumenthal. (CNN photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

One of Connecticut's senators wants public testimony from the U.S. attorney general and deputy attorney general in light of Thursday's hearing with ex-FBI Director James Comey.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal was in attendance for the duration of Comey's testimony and believes the next step is to hear from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with regards to an investigation into collusion with Russia.

Blumenthal held a news conference about that around 11:15 a.m. on Friday in Hartford during which he called on Sessions and Rosenstein to testify.

"There is a consistent theme here that runs through everything that has happened. The President felt pressure from the Russian investigation. He wanted to apparently change its course and likely impeded it," Blumenthal said. "The question about obstruction of justice is whether his intent violated the law. that will be a task for the special prosecutor to determine.

Blumenthal said he has serious concerns after hearing Comey's testimony. 

"He painted a portrait of a president who is abusing his trust and power and putting himself above the law," Blumenthal said.

He said Comey noted that the FBI expected Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation into Russia and that "we were also aware of facts that I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic."

Blumenthal told CNN on Thursday that Sessions may have had a third undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

He said if that happened, it could be perjury.

"You know, what we have here is a pattern and I can't confirm what may have been provided in a classified setting, but with a third meeting and even without it, what we have is a pattern of contacts with the Russian by [former national security advisory Michael] Flynn, by Sessions, by [senior advisor Jared] Kushner, [that were] secret and then concealed," Blumenthal said. "In fact, [they were] denied possibly in violation of the law that denial adds [to what] former director Comey said [Thursday]."

Blumenthal also said it may constitute a separate violation of law that brings together the liability that Comey referred to during his testimony.

Blumenthal said he is confident in Robert Mueller, who has been hired as special counsel  to oversee investigations into the Trump campaigns potential dealings with Russian officials. But is insisting there by sanction against Russian banks, businesses and energy to send a signal the US will not tolerate any inference.

"Donald trump knows well what obstruction of justice is. He is no stranger to litigation or the courtroom," Blumenthal said. "He has been involved more than most business people in legal actions in the courts and he knows what it means."  

The investigation continues next week when staffers will interview president Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

CNN reported on Thursday that Comey told senators in a closed hearing that Sessions may have had a third interaction with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Sources told CNN that the information was based in part on Russian-to-Russian intercepts and that Kislyak might have exaggerated the encounter.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. CNN contributed to this report.