Senate Dems demand Sessions clarify testimony on Russian Federation

President Donald Trump's longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller will reportedly be questioned over a 2013 trip Trump took to Moscow

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Roberts has not issued a statement on Clovis as of early November 2, but Stabenow said in an email, "Sam Clovis' decision to withdraw his nomination as chief scientist is a victory for science and our farmers who rely on agricultural research".

Asked under oath at a Senate hearing last month if he believed Trump campaign surrogates had communications with Russians, Sessions replied, "I did not and I'm not aware of anyone else that did, and I don't believe it happened". The court documents put Clovis, the most controversial USDA nominee in 15 years, back into the public spotlight and may delay action on the nomination.

Mueller's office revealed this week in court documents that Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on October 5 to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about trying to meet with Russians offering "dirt" on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton based on stolen Democratic emails.

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Clovis tentatively was slated to have a November 9 hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) issued statements demanding Sessions testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. A post on Trump's Instagram account shows the March 31, 2016, meeting taking place, with the candidate, Sessions and Papadopoulos all present. Russian Federation has denied three USA intelligence agencies' conclusion in January that Moscow tried to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The Post reported Monday that Clovis, who served as the Trump campaign's national co-chairman, was the unnamed "campaign supervisor" mentioned in a court filing who urged Papadopoulos to meet with the Russians. Toensing said Clovis "would always have been courteous to a person offering to help the campaign".

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Farm groups have supported the Clovis nomination, saying he would be an effective advocate for ag research. "He has laid out his reasons in the attached letter", a spokesperson for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in an email. "As far as Sessions seemed to be concerned, when he shut down this idea of Papadopoulos engaging with Russian Federation, that was the end of it and he moved the meeting along to other issues".

But the former Iowa talk radio host and political science professor contended in the letter to the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee's top Democrat, Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), that his time teaching and running for political office in the Hawkeye State steeped him in the field of agriculture.

Also on Thursday, former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page told Congress in a six-hour, closed-door testimony that he told Sessions he was traveling to Russian Federation during the presidential campaign, according to an account he gave to CNN. But President Trump already knew that when he nominated Mr. Clovis, and that is not why his nomination was abruptly pulled today. "As we consider his nomination, I will be looking into these facts, along with his questionable qualifications and long history of divisive and outrageous statements".

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