Appointing a second special counsel could rattle Justice Department

Adjust Comment Print

With Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinting he might appoint a second special counsel to look into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department business and into issues involving the Clinton Foundation, the Democratic presidential nominee's associates are trying to keep the focus on President Donald Trump.

Sessions vowed Tuesday to decide quickly on whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton's alleged mishandling of classified materials.

If Mr Sessions moves to appoint a special counsel to investigate the matters, it would be the second such investigation mounted in Mr Trump's first year in office.

Jordan asked if the Department Justice during the Obama administration used the dossier to get a warrant for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. They also said Democrats should point to how Trump has called on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton.

"If he (Mr Sessions) or his deputy authorises a new investigation of Mrs. Clinton, it would shatter norms established after Watergate that are meant to prevent presidents from using law enforcement agencies against political rivals", The New York Times said today. Is a special prosecutor needed to investigate Clinton's dealings? In a celebrated 1940 address that's still required reading for federal prosecutors today, Attorney General (and later Supreme Court Justice) Robert Jackson identified the Justice Department's ability to "choose [its] defendants" as "the most risky power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted".

He did not, however, rule out that a special counsel could be appointed if the proper standards were met. FBI Director James Comey was sacked.

In several angry tweets November 3, the president called again for investigations of Clinton and Democrats, saying, "at some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper".

The deal, which has always been a talking point for right-leaning media outlets, allowed a Russian nuclear agency to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian mining firm with deep ties to America's uranium extraction capacity. A separate Clinton Foundation-related federal probe has been ongoing in Virginia, but its final disposition is still unclear, according to people familiar with the matter. Republicans have suggested that the deal, which required USA approval from a multiagency board that included Clinton's State Department, should have been blocked because of a separate corruption probe involving Russian uranium shipments.

"There's no way the American people can trust Robert Mueller to investigate anything Russia-related", Hannity has said.

During an Oval Office meeting with the president on November 1, Pirro denounced Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his refusal to go after Clinton, who was Secretary of State when the deal was approved.

"Why did Robert Mueller not inform CFIUS?"

"Each of those are pretty special, factual situations", Sessions said, "and we will use the proper standards".

"You should never float the idea on your side, because when you float the idea, you are at least suggesting there's a possibility you may not be capable of doing the job yourself for ethical reasons", he explained.