Hillary corruption probe seen gaining some headway
The Trump administration’s Justice Department is inching toward a full investigation of possible corruption in Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia as secretary of state — with Republican lawmakers urging a focus on her campaign as well.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, addressing the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, insisted any probe of President Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival will be handled in a nonpartisan way, without undue influence from the White House despite Trump’s goading tweets.
A DOJ letter to the committee Monday said Sessions has directed senior federal prosecutors to “evaluate certain issues” related to Clinton and recommend whether a special counsel should be appointed.
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee has been under scrutiny over the 2010 Uranium One deal — selling 20 percent of America’s uranium to a Russian conglomerate. It was an agreement approved by the State Department while she was secretary of state and millions of dollars reportedly were pouring into the Clinton Foundation from related Russian interests.
Recent news reports also indicate that a notorious dossier citing Russian
sources and purporting to have dirt on Trump was financed by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, then used by the FBI under the Obama administration to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Sessions yesterday, “What’s it going to take to actually get a special counsel?” He added that “it sure looks like” Democrats financed the Russian dossier to get a FISA warrant on the Trump campaign.
“I would say ‘looks like’ is not enough basis for a special counsel,” Sessions said.
“I did not mean to suggest I was taking a side one way or the other on that subject,” Sessions said later. “I was simply responding that we would have to have a full and effective and detailed factual evaluation before we make a decision on whether or not a special counsel is required.”
Sessions added the Justice Department “can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents.”
Of Trump’s tweets, Sessions told Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), “A president cannot improperly influence an investigation. And I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced. The president speaks his mind. He’s bold and direct about what he says, but people elected him. But we do our duty every day based on the law and the facts.”
NEW SCRUTINY: Hillary Clinton speaks at an event Thursday in Pennsylvania.