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Attorney General Jeff Sessions hires private lawyer

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has hired outside counsel.
  • Sessions has faced criticism for not disclosing meetings with Russian officials.
  • Other Trump administration officials have retained private lawyers to handle matters related to the Russia investigation.
Charles Cooper
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Charles Cooper

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has hired D.C. litigator Charles Cooper, CNBC has confirmed.

Cooper, founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, said he could not comment on confidential client matters. His name was among those floated as a potential pick for solicitor general in the early days of the Trump administration.

Democrats have scrutinized Sessions' interactions with Russian officials after he didn't disclose them in his confirmation hearing. The attorney general has explained that he didn't disclose those meetings because they happened in his capacity as a senator and not as a surrogate for the Trump campaign.

Sessions testified before a Senate panel last week that the suggestion he colluded with Russians is an "appalling and detestable lie."

"Let me state this clearly: I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election," Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Further, I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign."

Sessions hired Cooper after other senior White House officials and found outside counsel to deal with issues related to the investigation of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

Last week, Vice President Mike Pence's office confirmed that he has retained a private lawyer to handle inquiries from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

In May, President Donald Trump tapped Marc Kasowitz to manage matters related to the Russia probe. The president's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, also hired his own legal representation, NBC News reported.

Watch: Trump's lawyer hires his own lawyer