Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before Senate committee to be public

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify at a public hearing of the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday afternoon, the committee said in a statement.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. MDT.

This will be the first time Sessions has testified in Congress since he recused himself from the Justice Department’s probe into Russian meddling in last year’s election and the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

“(Sessions) believes it is important for the American people to hear the truth directly from him and looks forward to answering the committee’s questions tomorrow,” a Justice Department spokesman said.

The announcement caps the drama that started over the weekend when Sessions canceled two appearances Thursday, citing former Comey’s blistering testimony last week.

Comey told the intelligence committee in a closed session that Sessions might have had a third, undisclosed interaction with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., according to people familiar with the briefing.

“In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey’s testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it is important that I have an opportunity to address these matters in the appropriate forum,” Sessions wrote over the weekend.

But intelligence committee members at first were unaware of a planned hearing.