Sessions raises prospect of special counsel on GOP concerns

Lucy Bush
November 15, 2017

At a House Judiciary hearing Tuesday, Sessions stressed the "factual basis" that must be met to warrant a special counsel, as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) grilled him on what Jordan said "looks like" the Federal Bureau of Investigation working with Democrats to push the Trump-Russia dossier.

Some Democrats have suggested that Sessions's multiple false statements to Congress this year were conscious lies.

"I believe that I wanted to make clear that he wasn't authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter", he testified.

Sessions also said on Tuesday he did not challenge a statement by another campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, that he told Sessions in a brief encounter that he was about to leave for Moscow. "But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and would gladly have reported it had I remembered it, because I pushed back against his suggestion".

Sessions insisted that his story had never changed and that he had never been dishonest.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday said he wasn't entirely sold on appointing a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton's and the FBI's possible role in the preparation of a salacious dossier on Donald Trump. When The Washington Post later revealed he had twice spoken with Russia's ambassador to the United States, he revised his account, saying he had no meetings with Russians "to discuss issues of the campaign". "But, honestly, they should be looking at the Democrats".

Sessions previously testified at a similar hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October.

"Like clockwork, just as we learn of damning details of Donald Trump Jr.'s contacts with WikiLeaks, the Trump administration is firing up the fog machine to distract from the Mueller probe", Fallon said. Some of the messages came around the time that WikiLeaks released stolen emails from Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman.

He struggled to answer when asked the same about white groups.

Sessions said DOJ would investigate any potential issues related to Clinton.

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Asked by Jordan what it would take to get a special counsel investigation into the dossier or various Clinton-related accusations, Sessions pointed to department policies on the procedure, as well as to the fact that there has only been two special counsel investigations.

Trump has repeatedly criticized his Justice Department for not aggressively probing a variety of conservative concerns.

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Sessions later said he recalled the meeting following news reports about it. "Is it proper, is that what you're asking?"

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