"Out of deference to the committee, I have ordered that there be no pause while that review is conducted", Sessions said. Chris Coons of Delaware, Sessions said he will recuse himself if he discovers any connection between the Cohen investigation and the continuing inquiry into Russian interference or anything related to the 2016 election.
Sessions said he did seek advice from career ethics officials within the Justice Department over whether he should have recused himself.
The news media will be allowed to attend, but the Department of Justice says he will not take questions after his formal speech, which is not open to the public.
Sessions, who was one of Trump's earliest campaign supporters when he was a senator, made the comments in testimony before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department.
Sessions replied, "I do have confidence in him".
Sessions was on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to ostensibly discuss the Justice Department's budget, but the questions from senators repeatedly veered into his recusal in the Russian Federation investigation, the latest developments with Cohen and the prospect Trump could fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or special counsel Robert Mueller. But when Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., noted that almost two decades ago after President Bill Clinton pardoned controversial figure Marc Rich before leaving office, Sessions insisted that such presidential pardons should be made only after consulting with the Justice Department.
"That calls for a speculative answer, or a question calls for speculation", Sessions said in response to a question from Sen.
"We're getting along", Sessions said. "That calls for a speculative answer", Sessions told Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, when asked if he would resign if either Rosenstein and Mueller was sacked.
Sessions told the subcommittee on Wednesday that while he has "previously expressed some concerns about the program", he heard from bipartisan members of the committee that led him to reverse course.
Sessions, however, would not say if he would resign if Rosenstein or Mueller were fired. Trump reportedly has mulled firing the deputy attorney general as a way to hamstring the special counsel's investigation.