Jus­tice Dept. con­sid­er­ing spe­cial coun­sel over Clin­ton Foun­da­tion’s deal­ings

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Front page - By Michael S. Sch­midt and Mag­gie Haber­man

WASHINGTON — Ten days af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said that he was frus­trated with the Jus­tice Depart­ment for not in­ves­ti­gat­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton and other Democrats, the Jus­tice Depart­ment told Congress on Mon­day that se­nior pros­e­cu­tors were look­ing into whether a spe­cial coun­sel should be ap­point­edto in­ves­ti­gate them.

The pros­e­cu­tors will ex­am­ine re­ports of mis­con­duct at the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion and the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s 2010 de­ci­sion to

al­low a Rus­sian nu­clear en­ergy agency to ac­quire much of the United States’ ura­nium, among other mat­ters, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter sent to the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee from a se­nior Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cial on Mon­day.

“These se­nior pros­e­cu­tors will re­port di­rectly to the at­tor­ney gen­eral and the deputy at­tor­ney gen­eral, as ap­pro­pri­ate, and will make rec­om­men­da­tions as to whether any mat­ters not cur­rently un­der investigation should be opened, whether any mat­ters cur­rently un­der investigation re­quire fur­ther re­sources, or whether any mat­ters merit a spe­cial coun­sel,” said the se­nior of­fi­cial, Stephen Boyd, an as­sis­tant at­tor­ney gen­eral.

The rev­e­la­tion came in a re­sponse from the Jus­tice Depart­ment to an in­quiry from House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee Chair­man Robert Good­latte, R-Va., who in July and again in Septem­ber called for At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions to ap­point a sec­ond spe­cial coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate con­cerns he had re­lated to the 2016 elec­tion and its af­ter­math.

The list of mat­ters he wanted probed was wide rang­ing but in­cluded the FBI’s han­dling of the investigation into Ms. Clin­ton’s use of a pri­vate email server while she was sec­re­tary of state, var­i­ous deal­ings of the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion and sev­eral mat­ters con­nected to the pur­chase of the Cana­dian min­ing com­pany Ura­nium One by Russia’s nu­clear en­ergy agency. Mr. Good­latte took par­tic­u­lar aim at former FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey, ask­ing for a sec­ond spe­cial coun­sel to eval­u­ate the leaks he di­rected about his con­ver­sa­tions with Mr. Trump, among other things.

In re­sponse, Mr. Boyd wrote that Mr. Ses­sions had “di­rected se­nior fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors to eval­u­ate cer­tain is­sues raised in your letters.”

The de­ci­sion to ex­am­ine those mat­ters raises ques­tions about whether Mr. Trump is try­ing to use the Jus­tice Depart­ment to in­ves­ti­gate his po­lit­i­cal ri­vals and dis­tract from the spe­cial coun­sel’s investigation into his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. It also comes at a ten­u­ous time for Mr. Ses­sions, whom Mr. Trump has hinted to ad­vis­ers he may want to fire. Peo­ple close to the White House be­lieve Mr. Ses­sions can stop the pres­i­dent from fir­ing him by ap­point­ing a spe­cial coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate the ura­nium deal.

As the spe­cial coun­sel’s investigation into Mr. Trump and his as­so­ciates has in­ten­si­fied in re­cent weeks, Mr. Trump has asked al­lies and ad­vis­ers why the spe­cial coun­sel, Robert Mueller, is not in­ves­ti­gat­ing the Ura­nium One case, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the pres­i­dent’s dis­cus­sions. The al­lies and ad­vis­ers have told Mr. Trump that Mr. Mueller’s purview is only to look into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion, the per­son said. In re­sponse, Mr. Trump has said that the Ura­nium One re­lates to Russia. Mr. Trump has asked al­lies and ad­vis­ers why the spe­cial coun­sel, Robert Mueller, is not in­ves­ti­gat­ing the Ura­nium One case, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the pres­i­dent’s dis­cus­sions.

Richard Drew/As­so­ci­ated Press

U.S. At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions’ Jus­tice Depart­ment is en­ter­tain­ing the idea of ap­point­ing a sec­ond spe­cial coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate a host of Repub­li­can con­cerns about Hil­lary Clin­ton and other Democrats.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.