“‘Looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have just thrown a wrench into GOP plans to open a new federal investigation of Hillary Clinton.
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. Clinton was being investigated for using a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
Sessions pushed backed, saying a special counsel is only appointed if there is enough evidence to merit that appointment.
Sessions noted that there have only ever been two special counsels: one for the Waco siege in April 1993, and Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. “Each of those are pretty special, factual situations,” Sessions said, “and we will use the proper standards.”
It’s an important exchange, especially as Republicans in Congress also want a special counsel to look into Uranium One, where Republicans claimed Clinton gave Russia 20 percent of America’s uranium when she was secretary of state. But that’s demonstrably not true, which would make a special counsel appointment very odd.
It also comes a day after the Justice Department told the chair of the committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), that it was considering appointing a special counsel to investigate alleged Clinton misdeeds. 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.
But Sessions said the DOJ requires a high standard of evidence to appoint a special counsel, which means he may not grant that request. Sessions …read more
Source:: Vox – All