Sessions lawyer says AG is not under federal perjury investigation

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' longtime personal lawyer said Wednesday that Sessions is not the subject of a federal criminal investigation for allegedly perjuring himself during his confirmation hearing.

ABC News reported that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had overseen the investigation into whether Sessions "lacked candor" when he testified before Congress about contacts with Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"The Special Counsel‘s Office has informed me that after interviewing the Attorney General and conducting additional investigation, the Attorney General is not under investigation for false statements or perjury in his confirmation hearing testimony and related written submissions to Congress," attorney Chuck Cooper said in a statement.

Sources close to Sessions told Fox News that the attorney general had no idea he may have been under investigation for perjury when he fired McCabe last week.

ABC News reported that lawmakers from both parties were told that Sessions was being investigated during a closed-door briefing with McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last year.

Justice Department officials told Fox News that they could not confirm the substance of the briefing, but said it occurred in May 2017 and "McCabe did all the talking."

One source familiar with the matter told Fox News that the practice of the FBI briefing Congress about open investigations, a practice begun by former director James Comey, had been "heavily curtailed."

The dismissal of McCabe came ahead of an inspector general report expected to conclude that McCabe had authorized the release of information to the news media and had not been forthcoming with the Justice Department's watchdog office as it examined the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

A representative for McCabe declined to comment.

Sessions announced last year that he would recuse himself from overseeing the FBI investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the investigation, which is being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

In January, Sessions testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no "communications" with Russia during the campaign. However, he recused himself after The Washington Post reported that he had spoken twice in 2016 to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian envoy to the U.S. One of those meetings came on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

At the time of his recusal, Sessions denied that he had lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee and defended his testimony as "honest and correct."

Fox News' Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.