Sessions considers special counsel investigation into Clinton … finally
Nov 15 2017
Since President Donald Trump won last year's election, his company - the Trump Organization - has experienced an increase in one particular line of business: Hosting fundraisers and receptions for Republican lawmakers.
The appearance before the House Judiciary Committee follows a guilty plea from one Trump campaign aide who served on a foreign policy advisory 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. Months later, the Washington Postrevealed that Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the United States multiple times during the 2016 campaign.
Shortly before leaving on his trip to Asia, Trump said he was "very frustrated" that the Justice Department wasn't investigating Democrats for allegations of questionable dealings and relationships.
Some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have claimed - without providing evidence - that Russian interests sought to donate to the Clinton Foundation in a bid to persuade Clinton to support the deal.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions batted back accusations Tuesday that he succumbed to political pressure to appoint federal prosecutors to review the FBI's handling of an investigation into Russia's purchase of uranium rights and connections to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Tuesday's hearing will likely include more of the same, although it remains to be seen what other topics will come up, and how Sessions will address them.
On Monday, the head of the Justice Department's legislative affairs office responded to those requests by confirming that "senior federal prosecutors" were "evaluat [ing] certain issues raised in your letters". Al Franken, D-Minn., that "I did not have communications" with the Russians during the campaign and said he was "unaware" of contacts between others in the campaign and Russia.
Sessions is due to testify before the House Judiciary Committee for a routine oversight hearing, but Democrats on the panel will grill him about a series of statements he made to the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he denied knowing about meetings between campaign aides and Russians.
"Each of those are pretty special factual situations, and we will use the proper standards, and that's the only thing I can tell you, Mr. Jordan" Sessions said. Mr. Trump wrote in a Twitter post on October 19.
"My answers have not changed", Sessions said.
Democrats say that five congressional committees have looked into the uranium sale and found nothing improper.
To that end, the New York Timesreported on Monday night, "People close to the White House believe Mr. Sessions can stop the president from firing him by appointing a special counsel to investigate the uranium deal". If so, the Clintons could be investigated through normal Justice Department channels, although ironically that might be more dubious politically for Trump and Sessions than a special counsel would be.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment for this article, as did a lawyer for Comey.