Friday, 17 November, 2017

US Department of Justice to probe Clinton Foundation

Tom Williams  Congressional Quarterly  Newscom via ZUMA Tom Williams Congressional Quarterly Newscom via ZUMA
Kenny Thornton | 15 November, 2017, 07:57

At a House Judiciary hearing Tuesday, Sessions stressed the "factual basis" that must be met to warrant a special counsel, as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) grilled him on what Jordan said "looks like" the Federal Bureau of Investigation working with Democrats to push the Trump-Russia dossier.

"You can be sure that they will be done without political influence and they will be done correctly and properly", he said.

The Uranium One deal was approved by a committee that included representatives of nine government agencies, one of which was the Clinton-led State Department.

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 USA uranium rights to a Russian state company.

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

A federal law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely, said the move is particularly frustrating because numerous subjects Sessions says could fall under the purview of a special counsel were previously investigated by the FBI or are under investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general.

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That's what it looks like, and I'm asking you: Doesn't that warrant - in addition to all the things we know about James Comey in 2016 - doesn't that warrant naming a second special counsel, as 20 members of this committee wrote you three and a half months ago asking you to do? "And if you're now just considering it, what is it going to take to get a special counsel?"

It would take a factual basis that meets the standards of the appointment of a special counsel. You can have your idea, but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standard that requires a special counsel.

"That's what it looks like", he added, prompting Sessions reply.

The committee members say they're also concerned about what they call "potentially unlawful worldwide dealings" and alleged connections between foreign entities and the Clinton campaign or foundation. "I am not supposed to be involved with the Federal Bureau of Investigation". And, President Donald Trump has repeatedly shown disappointment that the department isn't looking into "Crooked Hillary".

He said in a tweet that if Mr Sessions bends to pressure from Trump "it could spell the end of the DOJ as an independent institution".

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