Sessions Raises Prospect of Special Counsel on GOP Concerns

Sessions Leahy

Sessions Leahy

FILE - In this November 2, 2017, file photo, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks about defending national security at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY.

In a DOJ letter obtained by Fox News, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote to GOP lawmakers that Attorney General Jeff Sessions "has directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues raised in your letters".

Last month, Republican leaders of two House committees launched an investigation into an Obama-era deal in which a Russian company bought a Canadian firm that owned some 20 percent of US uranium supplies.

The prosecutors will report to Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and recommend whether any new investigations should be opened, whether any matters now 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.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on August 15, 2016.

"Leahy's remarks come a day before Attorney General Sessions is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee".

Sessions said during his confirmation hearing in January that he had no contact with Russian operatives during the election, but media reports later revealed he had met with the country's ambassador three times during the course of the campaign.

Sessions previously admitted that his past comments on Clinton would likely put his "objectivity" into question, meaning a special counsel would likely be required if a formal investigation into the controversial Uranium One deal is launched.

He struck a similar note before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, when he denied knowledge of communications between Russians and Trump campaign officials.

In apparent anticipation of those concerns, Boyd said in the letter that Justice Department "will never evaluate any matter except on the facts and the law".

In 2010 a company called Uranium One was partially sold to Russia's nuclear authority Rosatom. He noted the Justice Department Inspector General already was investigating several aspects of the Clinton email case and said once that probe was complete the department would assess "what, if any, additional steps are necessary to address any issues identified by that review".

Although the claims have not been proven, some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have alleged that Russian interests sought to donate to the Clinton Foundation to persuade Clinton to support the deal.

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