Amid Hints of Special Counsel, Hillary Aides Push Trump Focus

Wednesday, 15 Nov, 2017

This came days after Sessions was considering to appoint a special counsel to examine charges levelled against Clinton Foundation, reported the Independent.

Sessions pushed backed, saying a special counsel is only appointed if there is enough evidence to merit that appointment.

Rep. Trey Gowdy called out Democratic hypocrisy for grilling Sessions about Trump's public comments encouraging the Justice Department to investigate Clinton while standing silent when Obama put his thumb on the scale during the email investigation.

"I don't know what Sessions is going to do here, but I don't see any good reason for the Justice Department, in a situation where it's not the administration investigating itself, to appoint a special counsel", he said.

Sessions noted that there have only ever been two special counsels: one for the Waco siege in April 1993, and Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

If these protections go away, there is no guarantee that the Department of Justice won't begin to implement federal prohibition laws in states that have moved in a more common sense direction on marijuana policy.

"I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced" by the president, Sessions said.

"It seems they're frustrated by the Mueller investigation, and they think, 'Why don't we get one to look at the Clinton stuff?' And that's just not the way it's supposed to work", he said.

"Dangling [a special counsel] is unsafe, period", he said.

Current and former Justice Department officials could not recall the last time the department publicly dangled the possibility of a special counsel appointment.

Mr Sessions said he does not remember speaking to Carter Page during the 2016 presidential campaign about a trip that the former foreign policy campaign adviser took to Russian Federation. We have only had two.

The first one was the Waco [siege] - Sen. Is a special prosecutor needed to investigate Clinton's dealings? "We do our duty everyday based on the facts".

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, asked Sessions a series of questions early in the hearing about the DOJ's role and if it was proper for it to be influenced by Trump, citing a number of tweets where the president called on the Justice Department to take action against Clinton.

"And it sure looks like the FBI was paying the author of that document, and it sure looks like a major political party was working with the federal government to then turn an opposition research document - the equivalent of a National Enquirer story - take that document to a FISA court so that they could then get a warrant to spy on Americans associated with President Trump", he said. "But my concern is we sent you a letter three and a half months ago asking for a second special counsel".