Mueller’s team question Jeff Sessions for hours

Though it didn’t announce it, the White House confirmed the event. No other new details available. Here’s a refresher why Robert Mueller’s team wanted to talk to the attorney general:

Mr. Mueller’s interest in Mr. Sessions shows how the president’s own actions helped prompt a broader inquiry. What began as a Justice Department counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s election interference is now also an examination of whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct the inquiry, and the nation’s top law enforcement officer is a witness in the case.

For Mr. Mueller, Mr. Sessions is a key witness to two of the major issues he is investigating: the campaign’s possible ties to the Russians and whether the president tried to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Mr. Mueller can question Mr. Sessions about his role as the head of the campaign’s foreign policy team. Mr. Sessions was involved in developing Mr. Trump’s position toward Russia and met with Russian officials, including the ambassador.

Session first told Congress he didn’t recall knowing any high-level Russian contacts with the Trump campaign during the 2016 elections, but the intelligence agencies picked up conversations from the Russian ambassador proving the opposite. That prompted Session to return to Congress to correct the record: Yes, he did meet the ambassador Kislyak. The event forced Sessions to recuse himself from overseeing the Trump-Russia investigation. Trump then fired then-FBI director James Comey and told NBC the decision had to do with the FBI’s own investigation into allegations of the contacts. Facing outcry over the appearance of obstruction, Sessions’s deputy, Rod Rosenstein then appointed Mueller to do a wide, independent investigation into matter. Since then, several reports portrayed Trump as livid at Session for recusing himself.

One more footnote: Sessions is the first known cabinet member to answer questions from the Mueller team.

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