Sessions open to idea of Clinton Foundation special counsel





WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leaving open the possibility that a special counsel could be appointed to look into Clinton Foundation dealings and an Obama-era uranium deal, the Justice Department said Monday in responding to concerns from Republican lawmakers.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, which is holding an oversight hearing Tuesday, the Justice Department said Sessions had directed senior federal prosecutors to "evaluate certain issues" raised by Republican lawmakers. President Donald Trump has also repeatedly called for investigations of Democrats.

The prosecutors will report to Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and recommend whether any new investigations should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require additional resources and whether it might be necessary to appoint a special counsel to oversee a probe, according to a letter sent to Rep. Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, the Judiciary Committee's Republican chairman.

The letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd did not say what specific steps might be taken by the Justice Department to address the lawmakers' concerns, or whether any of the matters Republicans have seized on might already be under investigation by federal authority.

Any appointment of a new special counsel, particularly in response to calls from members of Congress or from Trump himself, is likely to lead to Democratic complaints about an undue political influence on a department that is supposed to function outside of any partisan sway or demand.

Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly weighed in on department affairs, publicly lamenting that he does not have more direct involvement in its operations and calling on law enforcement scrutiny of Democrat Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential race, and other Democrats.

He has expressed particular support for investigating the Clinton Foundation and at times has berated his attorney general and suggested his job could be in jeopardy.

"Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn't looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems..." Trump tweeted earlier this month.

In apparent anticipation of those concerns, Boyd said in the letter that Justice Department "will never evaluate any matter except on the facts and the law."

"Professionalism, integrity and public confidence in the Department's work is critical for us, and no priority is higher," he added.

Sessions said at his January confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Clinton given his role as a vocal campaign surrogate to President Donald Trump.

He similarly recused himself from a separate investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, and in May, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead that probe.

House Republicans in recent weeks have launched their own probes into the Obama administration and Clinton's emails.

Some lawmakers have specifically said they want to know more about whether President Barack Obama's Justice Department had been investigating the purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company in 2010.

The agreement was reached while Clinton led the State Department and some investors in the company had relationships with former President Bill Clinton and donated large sums to the Clinton Foundation.

The letter comes one day before Sessions is to appear before the Judiciary panel for a Justice Department oversight hearing. Democrats on the committee have already signaled that they intend to press Sessions on his knowledge of contacts between Russians and aides to the Trump campaign.

___

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

COMMENTS

More Related News

'It's about time': Trump pardons late boxer Jack Johnson

President Donald Trump on Thursday granted a rare posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, clearing Jack Johnson's name more than 100 years after what many see as his racially-charged conviction. It's about time,'' Trump said during an Oval Office ceremony,

Trump cancels summit with North Korea scheduled for next month
Trump cancels summit with North Korea scheduled for next month

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday called off a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, even after North Korea followed through on a pledge to blow up tunnels at its nuclear test site. Earlier on Thursday, North Korea repeated a threat to pull out of the unprecedented summit with Trump

AP source: Jared Kushner granted security clearance
AP source: Jared Kushner granted security clearance

President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been granted a security clearance after a lengthy background check, a move that ensures the key White House adviser with a broad international portfolio can have access to some of the country's most closely held secrets. Kushner, who serves

Trump calls for new
Trump calls for new 'structure' for U.S.-China trade deal

By Susan Heavey WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signaled a new direction in U.S.-China trade talks and said any deal would need "a different structure," fueling uncertainty over current negotiations and sending U.S. stocks lower. In an early morning post on

Trump Praises Tomi Lahren After Restaurant Crowd Tosses Water, Insults
Trump Praises Tomi Lahren After Restaurant Crowd Tosses Water, Insults

President Donald Trump swiftly defended Tomi Lahren as an "outstanding and

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.