AG Jeff Sessions contradicted earlier reports that he was appointing a special counsel to investigate Trump political rival Hillary Clinton.
Attorney General Jeff Session seems to have contradicted earlier reports this week that he was considering appointing a second special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton.
The Guardian reported that:
Sessions on Tuesday said there was “not enough basis” to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton, a day after reports surfaced that the attorney general had authorized senior prosecutors at the Department of Justice to evaluate an inquiry into the Clinton Foundation.
Testifying before the House judiciary committee, Sessions also appeared to push back on Donald Trump’s repeated insistence that the FBI should focus on investigating Clinton as opposed to potential collusion between his own presidential campaign and Russia.
“The Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents. That would be wrong,” Sessions responded when asked about Trump’s Twitter demands that the Department of Justice investigate Hillary Clinton.
“The president speaks his mind. He is bold and direct about what he says. We do our duty every day based on the facts,” he added.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) pushed Sessions on what it would take to assign a special prosecutor, listing off a number of reasons he felt an investigation was warranted.
“I appreciate yesterday’s letter saying you were considering appointing a special counsel that you sent to us,” Jordan said. “But my concern is we sent you a letter three and a half months ago asking for a second special counsel. And if you’re now just considering it, what is it going to take to get a special counsel?”
“It would take a factual basis that meets the standards of the appointment of a special counsel,” Sessions responded after Jordan read off a list of reasons why he believed an appointment was necessary. “We will use the proper standards, and that’s the only thing I can tell you, Mr. Jordan. You can have your idea but sometimes we have to study what the facts are and to evaluate whether it meets the standard that requires a special counsel.”
After another heated exchange, Sessions said, “‘Looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.”