Wiretap Claim Thrusts Nominee for No. 2 Spot in Justice Department in Spotlight

Confirmation hearing could turn into a free-for-all as senators prepare pointed questions

 .. The respected career prosecutor who has been nominated for the No. 2 position at the Justice Department takes center stage Tuesday in a drama that has so far seen the Russians accused of interfering in the U.S. election, cost the national security adviser his job, forced the attorney general to take a step back from his duties and the president himself claim that his predecessor authorized surveillance on his campaign.
.. Over the weekend, the FBI requested that the Justice Department issue a statement refuting Mr. Trump’s claims about wiretaps, according to people familiar with the matter, but the department didn’t do so. On Monday, White House officials said Mr. Comey should disclose publicly what he knows about any such surveillance. The FBI declined to comment on that request.
The furor began with Mr. Trump’s tweets on being wiretapped, an assertion quickly denied by Mr. Obama’s office as well as James Clapper, who was director of national intelligence at the time.
.. “I answered the question, which asked about a ‘continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump’s surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government,’ honestly,” Mr. Sessions wrote. “I did not mention communications I had had with the Russian Ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them.”