Sessions mulling second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows

Sessions mulling second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows

Sessions mulling second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows

Asked about his reported conversations with foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who met with Russian intermediaries in Europe, Sessions said he didn't initially recall a meeting in March 2016 where Papadopoulos suggested a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday, the attorney general sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., saying that he had directed senior federal prosecutors to explore at least some of the matters, then report back to him and his top deputy on whether any of them necessitated the appointment of a second special counsel.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his interactions with Russian representatives.

Sessions said that was the version of events he recalled.

It was not the first time that Sessions, who was a senior Trump campaign aide and Republican senator, has revised his comments about contact between the campaign and Russian Federation.

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Mr. Trump is frustrated with the continuing investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible ties to his campaign.

During the March 2016 campaign meeting where Russia was discussed, Sessions shut down Papadopoulos' idea of engaging with Russian contacts, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Sessions later said he recalled the meeting following news reports about it.

In January, the attorney general testified to the Senate that he had not "been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after election day". "Each of those are pretty special, factual situations", Sessions said, "and we will use the proper standards".

"These senior prosecutors will report directly to the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, 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 a special counsel", Boyd wrote. "When Republican Representative Jim Jordan detailed what the controversy "looks like" to him, the attorney general responded: "'Looks like' is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel". "And a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me". [John] Danforth took over that investigation as special counsel - and Mr. Mueller.

"You can't x-ray people's minds to see what they were thinking and what they knew, so perjury can be a hard crime to prove", said Bennett Gershman, a professor of criminal law at Pace Law School. Investigating political opponents, particularly vanquished ones, is a particularly slippery slope that clearly Trump, who will only have to live another decade or so in the half-cocked America he creates, surely has no problem hydroplaning down.

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