Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday that prosecutors were looking into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate Republican concerns.
The Justice Department is looking to investigate the Clinton Foundation dealings and also an Obama-era uranium deal.
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’ recently raised by Republican lawmakers.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions (left) said Monday that prosecutors were looking into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate Republican concerns including an investigation of the Clinton Foundation dealings
If prosecutors do appoint a special counsel, speculation could arise with regards to the independence of federal investigations under President Trump.
The list of matters he wants to look into vary but include the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
Also matters connected to the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One by Russia’s nuclear energy agency.
Hillary is pictured here Monday evening onstage during the tour for her new book ‘What Happened’ at Fox Theater in Atlanta
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 might on already be under investigation.
Any appointment of a new special counsel, particularly in response to calls from members of Congress or from President Donald Trump, is likely to lead to Democratic complaints about an undue political influence on the department’s decision-making.
Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly weighed in on department affairs, publicly lamenting that he does not have more direct involvement with it and calling on law enforcement scrutiny of Democrat Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential race, and other Democrats. He has been particularly interested in the Clinton Foundation.
‘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.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and husband, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (right) at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014 in New York
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,’ Boyd said.
Sessions said at his January confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Democrat Hillary 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 Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The Justice Department said Sessions (pictured here) had directed senior federal prosecutors to ‘evaluate certain issues’ recently raised by Republican lawmakers
Some have specifically said they want to know more about whether Obama’s Department of Justice was investigating the purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company in 2010. The agreement was reached while Hillary 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.
Trump tweeted: ‘Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!’