The Latest: Sessions omitted foreign contacts from filing

The Latest: Sessions omitted foreign contacts from filing
The Latest: Sessions omitted foreign contacts from filing

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on investigations into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

The Justice Department says Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose on a security clearance form meetings he had as a senator last year with foreign dignitaries, including the Russian ambassador.

But spokesman Ian Prior says an FBI employee assigned to help with the form, known as an SF-86, said those encounters didn’t have to be included as routine contacts as part of Sessions’ Senate job. Prior says the form was filled out in late November.

Sessions recused himself in March from an investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election following the revelation of two previously undisclosed encounters with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

CNN first reported the omission.

The Justice Department has said Sessions had more than 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors last year.


6:30 p.m.

The chairman of a House oversight committee says the FBI will not be turning over memos and other materials that detail discussions between former FBI Director James Comey and President Donald Trump.

One of those memos reportedly details Trump pressuring Comey to shut down the bureau’s investigation into former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says in an interview on CNN that the FBI sent his committee’s staff a two-sentence email saying it would not be turning over the materials now that the Justice Department has appointed a special counsel.

The special counsel, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, is overseeing an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and whether there was any collusion with Trump associates.


6 p.m.

A new report says U.S. intelligence services obtained information during the 2016 presidential election that showed senior Russian officials discussing how to influence Donald Trump through his campaign advisers.

That’s according to The New York Times, which cites three current and former American officials. The report Wednesday says the Russians zeroed in on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, a former head of U.S. military intelligence who was a key Trump campaign adviser.

The report says the Russian officials thought Manafort and Flynn could be used to influence Trump’s views on Russia. The Times says some of the officials bragged about ties to Flynn. Others thought they could use Manafort’s association with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who led a pro-Russian political party, to their advantage.


4:35 p.m.

Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page says he will testify next month before the House intelligence committee as part of its probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Page says details are still being worked out with the committee, but he expects to testify sometime during the week of June 6. He says he wants at least part of his testimony to be public.

Page is one of several people associated with President Donald Trump’s campaign who are being investigated by congressional committees and the FBI over their ties to Russia. Page has denied any involvement in Russian attempts to influence the election.


11:30 a.m.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says if it’s true that the president asked top intelligence officials to publicly deny that there had been any “collusion” between the Russians and the Trump campaign, it would suggest obstruction or politicization of the intelligence community.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California commented on a report in The Washington Post that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers both refused Trump’s request.

Schiff said Wednesday the committee wants any memos or other materials Coats and Rogers might have detailing conversations with Trump on the issue.

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this month, prompting reports that Trump tried to get Comey to back away from investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn.


10:43 a.m.

The ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee says the panel will be issuing subpoenas to get former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to cooperate with its investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 election.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California told reporters at a breakfast Wednesday that Flynn has declined to provide materials to the committee. He says the committee will be “following up with subpoenas” to maximize the chances of getting information from Flynn.

President Donald Trump fired Flynn for making misleading statements to Vice President Michael Pence about his contacts with Russian officials.

Flynn has become a target of probes being conducted in the House, Senate and the FBI.

The Senate intelligence committee also has issued subpoenas to Flynn to get him to cooperate.

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies on CapitolHill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2017 file photo, Mike Flynn arrives for a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The former national security adviser will invoke his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination on Monday, May 22, 2017, as he notifies the Senate Intelligence committee that he will not comply with a subpoena seeking documents. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)