Ses­sions con­sid­ers spe­cial coun­sel for Clin­ton foun­da­tion

Santa Fe New Mexican - - NATION & WORLD - By Eric Tucker

WASH­ING­TON — At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions is leav­ing open the pos­si­bil­ity that a spe­cial coun­sel could be ap­pointed to look into Clin­ton Foun­da­tion deal­ings and an Oba­maera ura­nium deal, the Jus­tice De­part­ment said Mon­day in re­spond­ing to con­cerns from Repub­li­can law­mak­ers.

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” raised by Repub­li­can law­mak­ers. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has also re­peat­edly called for in­ves­ti­ga­tions of Democrats.

The prose­cu­tors will re­port to Ses­sions and Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein and rec­om­mend whether any new in­ves­ti­ga­tions should be opened, whether any mat­ters cur­rently under in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­quire ad­di­tional re­sources and whether it might be nec­es­sary to ap­point a spe­cial coun­sel to over­see a probe, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter sent to Rep. Robert Good­latte of Vir­ginia, the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee’s Repub­li­can chair­man.

Any ap­point­ment of a new spe­cial coun­sel, par­tic­u­larly in re­sponse to calls from mem­bers of Congress or from Trump him­self, is likely to lead to Demo­cratic com­plaints about an un­due po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence on a de­part­ment that is sup­posed to func­tion out­side of any par­ti­san sway or de­mand.

Some law­mak­ers have specif­i­cally said they want to know more about whether for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s Jus­tice De­part­ment had been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pur­chase of Amer­i­can ura­nium mines by a Rus­sian­backed com­pany in 2010.

The agree­ment was reached while 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.

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