Attorney General Jeff Sessions has offered to testify Tuesday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer accusations from former FBI Director James Comey.
"In light of reports regarding Mr. Comey's recent 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 in a letter to Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.
"The Senate Intelligence Committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters, as it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information," he wrote.
Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in closed session that Sessions may have had a third, unreported meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Sessions omitted information about meetings with Kislyak as a senator during his confirmation process, and following the ensuing controversy he recused himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Despite the recusal, Sessions was involved in the decision to fire Comey. Senators have questioned why Sessions was involved in Comey's dismissal since he recused himself from the Russia investigation and Comey was leading that investigation.
Sessions has been under siege in recent weeks after reports surfaced that President Trump remains furious over his decision to recuse himself from the investigation. Trump has repeatedly called the reports of Russian interference in the 2016 election a hoax that's been generated by Democrats to excuse their loss in the election.
Sessions said he made the decision to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee instead of the appropriations panel after hearing that committee's members were planning to focus their questions on Comey's testimony.
"I previously accepted an invitation to testify on behalf of the Department of Justice before the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees about the Department's FY18 budget, which funds the Department's efforts in several important areas such as combatting the opioid crisis and violent crime," he wrote.
"Some members have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, from which I have recused, and for which the Deputy Attorney General appointed a Special Counsel."
Sessions is planning to send Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to testify to appropriations committees in the House and Senate in his stead.