Sessions Throws Cold Water On GOP Fever To Appoint New Special Counsel

Sessions pressed on lack of minorities on staff US attorney nominees

During a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions admitted his Department of Justice would be required to abide by budget amendments that restrict their use of funding to go after state-legal medical marijuana programs. He said the decision about whether to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal and large donations made to the Clinton Foundation would be made according to longstanding rules.

At a moment where Sessions' leadership and credibility is being questioned - the president himself has openly pondered firing him, and Democrats are accusing him of lying about his knowledge of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign - the attorney general is giving the appearance that he's bowing to the political demands of the president.

News broke Monday night that the Justice Department may be considering - at the request of congressional Republicans - the appointment of a second special counsel to look into alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russian Federation. That letter raised immediate concerns about the possible politicization of the DOJ because it seemed Sessions was willing to use right-wing talking points endorsed by the White House as grounds for a criminal probe into Clinton's time at the State Department.

The lawmakers enumerated a long list of questionable activities by James Comey, Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others. FBI Director James Comey was sacked.

The Washington Post reported that the justice department is considering a special counsel to investigate numerous matters after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. "Why in this case did the Federal Bureau of Investigation agree to destroy the laptop?" The letter from the Justice Department to the House Judiciary Committee on Monday night actually appears to be a properly measured response to a problematic request from Capitol Hill. Typically, the Department would issue a subpoena or get a warrant and seize it. The FBI probed that issue in 2015 and 2016, but Justice Department officials decided there wasn't enough evidence to pursue a full-fledged investigation. Republicans have suggested that the deal, which required US approval from a multiagency board that included Clinton's State Department, should have been blocked because of a separate corruption probe involving Russian uranium shipments. But there is no evidence that Clinton herself was involved in the U.S. government's approval of the deal.

"Why did Robert Mueller not inform CFIUS?"

"I don't know what Sessions is going to do here, but I don't see any good reason for the Justice Department, in a situation where it's not the administration investigating itself, to appoint a special counsel", he said.

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