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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed last week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office in connection with its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a Justice Department spokesman said Tuesday.
The New York Times reports Sessions was interviewed for several hours as part of Mueller’s broader Russia probe and whether President Donald Trump has obstructed justice since taking office last January.
Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior confirmed the report to VOA but declined to comment further.
Sessions’ personal lawyer, Chuck Cooper, who reportedly accompanied the attorney general to the interview, declined to comment.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment.
The questioning of Sessions was the first time Mueller has interviewed a member of Trump’s Cabinet since taking over the Russia investigation last May, after Trump fired then FBI director James Comey.Comey told a Congressional panel in June that Trump had asked him to end his investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, raising questions whether Trump obstructed justice.
Mueller’s office is widely believed to be looking at the obstruction question, although it has not publicly acknowledged it.
Sessions, a former Senator and advisor to the Trump campaign, recused himself from the Russia investigation last March following revelations that he had two previously undisclosed encounters with Russia’s former ambassador to Washington.
With his recusal from the inquiry, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel and oversees his work.