Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Is special counsel needed to investigate Clinton, Comey?

Is special counsel needed to investigate Clinton, Comey?

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

But even though a special counsel hasn't been appointed, questions about the independence of the hypothetical investigation are already swirling.

"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 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. And, President Donald Trump has repeatedly shown disappointment that the department isn't looking into "Crooked Hillary".

The line of questioning came weeks after Trump publicly called for the Justice Department to investigate Clinton, lamenting that the "saddest thing is that because I'm the president of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. The American public deserves it!" When House Republicans demanded a special counsel probe of the IRS' treatment of conservative groups during the Obama administration, the Justice Department stayed largely silent on the call until it issued a lengthy letter explaining the reasons prosecutors would not pursue charges in the case.

This morning at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) pressed Sessions for a special counsel investigation into how former FBI Director James Comey handled the Clinton probe during the election.

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Specifically, if the approval of the sale was linked to donations to the foundation and what role, if any, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton played.

In his testimony, Sessions did say that he believed his recusal would not bar him from appointing a special counsel to investigate possible wrongdoing involving Uranium One, a Canadian mining company with USA assets that was purchased by Russia's nuclear energy agency.

The department also confirmed that it was considering a special counsel to investigate the foundation of former president Bill Clinton, and its ties to companies involved in a deal that sold U.S. uranium rights to a Russian state company.

Sessions added: "I would say the Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents, and that would be wrong".

Jordan has led the charge of GOP lawmakers calling for a special counsel investigation to be launched in addition to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

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