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What really happened with Sessions

Andrew Harnik / AP

It didn't have the buildup of #ComeyWeek, but #SessionsDay could have its own fireworks. When Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this morning that he wanted tomorrow's Russia-related testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee (2:30 p.m.) to be public, many Republicans around town were surprised and worried.

"The risk of damage is very high," said one Republican lobbyist. "All possible outcomes are bad. Some worse than others."

  • Behind the curtain: I'm told by Senate Democratic sources that Sessions initially offered a private session, but that was a non-starter with the committee. So the meeting is being held in public at the insistence of the committee.
  • The two-step: The committee let Sessions announce that he was requesting a public hearing, then swiftly issued its own announcement about the open session.
  • If you're Sessions ... You're very conscious that President Trump will watch the hearings, either live or on his TiVo.
  • 1 big thing to watch for, via Matt Miller, a Justice Department official under President Obama: "Will Sessions answer questions about his involvement in Comey's firing, or will he cite executive privilege and an ongoing investigation?"
  • Spicer today: "I think it depends on the scope of the questions, and it would be -- to get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature."

In tomorrow's PM, we'll have the Axios read-between-the-lines of the afternoon testimony. In the meantime ...