Asked by Jordan what it would take to get a special counsel investigation into the dossier or various Clinton-related accusations, Sessions pointed to department policies on the procedure, as well as to the fact that there has only been two special counsel investigations.
Elsewhere in his testimony, Sessions disappointed congressional Republicans by saying that the Justice Department would need a "factual basis" to appoint a second special counsel tasked with investigating Hillary Clinton's role in the Uranium One deal, and that no such basis now exists.
As the time Conyers was allotted to question Sessions drew to a close, he noted that at his confirmation hearing, Sessions promised to recuse himself from any investigations involving Hillary Clinton.
Sessions also told the House committee that he did not recall an encounter with another campaign adviser, Carter Page.
The comment by Sessions to a House of Representatives panel did not reveal any new link between the Trump team and Russian Federation but it was another example of the top USA law enforcement official offering a different version of events as lawmakers try to work out if the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 election.
The hearing comes after a year where Sessions has been under repeated pressure from the President to launch investigations into Clinton - including on the Uranium One deal approved while she was secretary of state - and has been under fire from congressional Democrats about his answers on Russian Federation and push end the DACA program for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, among other issues. However, the Justice Department does not typically confirm or deny specific investigations, and Boyd stressed that the letter "should not be construed to do so".
The appearance before the House Judiciary Committee follows a guilty plea from one Trump campaign aide who served on a foreign policy council that Sessions chaired, as well as statements from another adviser who said he'd advised the then-GOP Alabama senator about an upcoming trip to Russian Federation. Democrats have said they plan to ask Sessions about what they see as the discrepancies, some of which he has yet to address publicly.
"My answer stands for itself, I guess", Sessions said.
Sessions said during January's confirmation hearing that he was unaware of communications between the campaign and Russian Federation. The Justice Department's letter on Monday was in response to Mr. Goodlatte's requests.
He said he didn't originally recall a conversation with ex-Trump aide George Papadopoulos, who recently revealed he told Sessions he was visiting Russian Federation during the campaign. Mr. Mueller was the F.B.I. director at the time.
The letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd did not confirm the existence of any investigation, and did not guarantee that the prosecutors' evaluation would lead to any investigations. We know the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, paid for, through the law firm, paid for the dossier [that alleges Trump-Russia ties].