Sessions gives Trump what he wants - a return to 'Crooked Hillary'

Under fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be pressed Tuesday in a House Judiciary Committee hearing over what he knew about contacts between the Trump election campaign last year and Russia

Sessions pointed out that prior to Trump's administration, there were only nine investigations of classified leaks in the last three years, compared with the 27 under scrutiny today. Even then details about Russia's influence on the Trump campaign were hazy, but Sessions did remember enough to say he attempted to block such influence.

Democratic lawmakers already contend the attorney general has not been forthcoming with them and have signaled that questions about the new revelations are likely to dominate what could otherwise have been a routine oversight hearing.

"The president speaks his mind; he is bold and direct in what he says", Sessions told members of the House Judiciary Committee.

But while the Mueller-led special counsel team meanders, there is uncertainty about whether issues like the Uranium One deal and fusion Global Positioning System will receive a thorough investigation.

Boyd wrote in the letter that "t$3 hese senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General [Rod Rosenstein], as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not now under investigation should be opened, whether any matters now under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel".

Sessions asked with a slight smirk.

"My answers have not changed", Sessions said.

"To announce recusal from any investigation would confirm the existence of that investigation, and top officials have advised me I should not do so", Sessions said.

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Though the Justice Department falls within the executive branch, and its priorities are historically in line with those of the president, the White House is not supposed to influence the decisions of prosecutors on any particular cases.

"All of you have been in a campaign", Sessions told lawmakers.

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.

In court records, prosecutors said Papadopoulos told a March 31, 2016 meeting of campaign officials that he had Russian connections and could help arrange a meeting with Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. If so, the Clintons could be investigated through normal Justice Department channels, although ironically that might be more dubious politically for Trump and Sessions than a special counsel would be.

Sessions has asked Justice Department prosecutors to decide if a special counsel should be appointed to investigate certain Republican concerns, including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the sale of a uranium company to Russian Federation, according to media reports on Monday.

"I cannot imagine my memory failing so much", she said.

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

"Hopefully they are doing something and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out", Trump said.

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