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Sessions Won't Promise Special Counsel for Uranium One

15 November 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions apparently isn't ruling out possibly appointing a special counsel to investigate The Clinton Foundation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions threw some cold water on increasing calls from the right for a second special counsel to investigate 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

A careful reading of the letter released Monday, however, shows that it might be Congress, not the Justice Department, that's really in danger of forgetting about the damage politically motivated prosecutions could do. Despite the superficial parallelism of having a "Clinton" special counsel to go along with Robert S. Mueller III's ongoing (and indictment-generating) investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian interests, it should be obvious that there's a world of difference between a government investigating itself and a government using its prosecutorial power to go after its political opponents. Sessions would not say whether the dossier was used by the FBI to obtain warrants to surveil Trump associates, nor would he comment on any hypothetical investigation into Justice Department leaks to the media about the dossier.

Republicans have said special counsel Robert Mueller can not impartially investigate the matter because he led the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time of the deal.

"Dangling [a special counsel] is unsafe, period", he said. "They should be looking at a lot of things, and a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me".

Under Sessions' direction, the Justice Department is now examining allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation were related to an Obama administration decision to give a Russian nuclear agency access to uranium in the United States.

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The goal is to raise $310,000 with the funds staying local to support some of the Salvation Army's programs and services. The Salvation Army Band also performed "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and other songs during the kickoff.

Trump campaigned on a promise to "get a special prosecutor" to investigate Clinton. 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.

"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.

Republicans have questioned the deal, approved during the Obama administration, which gave Russian companies control of about 20 percent of US uranium deposits.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said he doubted there was any prosecutor appointment or assignment that would lead to Mueller stepping down.

A day earlier, the Washington Post reported Sessions ordered top prosecutors in the department to look into these areas and report back to him, possibly to make the case for a special prosecutor. "You should never float the idea on your side, because when you float the idea, you are at least suggesting there's a possibility you may not be capable of doing the job yourself for ethical reasons".

Sessions Won't Promise Special Counsel for Uranium One