Senator Angus King, an independent, questioned Sessions' legal basis for refusing to answerquestions after Sessions said Trump had not invoked executive privilege regarding the conversations. Rosenstein repeatedly refused to answer "yes or no", and when Harris pressed him that is when her fellow senators shut her up.
After Sessions refused to say whether he had ever discussed the Russian Federation investigation with Trump, Heinrich and Sen.
Former FBI Director James Comey testified earlier before the Senate intelligence committee said he knew of reasons why it would be problematic for Sessions to remain involved in the Russian Federation investigation, even before he recused himself.
However Democrat Congressman Jim Langevin said Sessions fell short of the standard of evidence required at such a hearing.
In a series of of testy exchanges, Democratic senators blasted Mr. Sessions's refusal to answer.
In his hearing on Tuesday, Sessions denied having violated the recusal, but repeatedly declined to answer questions about his conversations with Trump, particularly regarding Comey's handling of the Russian Federation investigation.
Comey said Trump told Sessions and other administration officials to leave the room before Trump asked him in February to drop a probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.
"Do you really believe this had to do with Director Comey's performance?" They don't decide prosecution policies.
He called Comey's move "a thunderous thing" and it caused him to conclude "that a fresh start was appropriate".
Sessions said he was in an Oval Office meeting in February with Comey and Trump when the president said he wanted to speak to Comey privately - and he acknowledged that Comey came to talk to him the next day about the meeting. He says he had no idea the ambassador was even there.
But Sessions on Tuesday declined to divulge much information about Comey's firing beyond what was already publicly known.
During the hearing, Sessions lent his support to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, who is now in charge of the Trump campaign-Russia investigation.
"Many have suggested that my recusal is because I felt I was a subject of the investigation myself, that I may have done something wrong", Sessions said. He says he stepped aside because Justice Department rules prevent such a conflict of interest. Richard Burr, R-N.C., listen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"At all times throughout the course of the campaign, the confirmation process, and since becoming Attorney General, I have dedicated myself to the highest standards", he said.
The hearing will bring contentious questioning for Sessions and likely some uncomfortable moments for the Trump administration.
Comey told the intelligence committee in a closed session that Sessions may have had a third, undisclosed interaction with Russia's ambassador to the United States, according to people familiar with the briefing.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Monday said Ruddy had not spoken to Trump about the issue and that only the president or his attorneys were authorized to speak about it.
Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin opened the first hour of his radio show Tuesday night discussing the Senate Intelligence hearing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the election.
"The suggestion that I participated in any collusion.is an appalling and detestable lie", Sessions said. "Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign", he added.
"It was my best judgment that a fresh start at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was the appropriate thing to do", said Sessions, according to Rejoice Magazine.