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Sessions to Wyden in testy exchange: ‘I am not stonewalling’
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) speaks to reporters on his way to a policy luncheon Tuesday on Capitol Hill. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

One of the tensest exchanges of the day was between Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Sessions as lawmakers probed the former senator about the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the election and about ousted FBI director James B. Comey.

The attorney general became angry when Wyden suggested he was ducking questions on an array of subjects.

“I believe the American people have had it with stonewalling. Americans don’t want to hear that answers to relevant questions are privileged or off limits,’’ Wyden said. “We are talking about an attack on our democratic institutions, and stonewalling of any kind is unacceptable.’’

Sessions shot back: “I am not stonewalling. I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice.’’

Wyden noted that Comey had said it was “problematic’’ for Sessions to oversee the Russia probe, for reasons he did not explain in a public setting.

Sessions got angry again when Wyden pressed Sessions to explain what facts might be problematic about his involvement in the Russia probe.

“Why don’t you tell me? There are none, Senator Wyden. There are none. This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don’t appreciate it, and I’ve tried to give my best and truthful answers,” Sessions said. “People are suggesting through innuendo that I have been not honest . . . and I’ve tried to be honest.”

Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator from Alabama, will face his former colleagues this afternoon in a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He is expected to face questions on contacts with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, and his role in the firing of James B. Comey as FBI director.