Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday he is considering bowing to demands from congressional Republicans who have called for the appointment of a second special counsel--this time to investigate supposed misconduct by the Justice Department and the FBI in probing ties between former Trump campaign officials and Moscow. Democrats have argued that such calls are simply an effort to undermine the ongoing Russia investigation. Sessions, moreover, has a serious ethical problem he refuses to acknowledge: He has already recused himself from anything involving the Russia probe, as well as from anything involving the 2016 Trump and Clinton campaigns. Appointing and overseeing a special counsel assigned to investigate conduct related to the Russia investigation would seem to be a direct violation of that recusal. Enter President Trump's lawyer, who took to his radio show Thursday to urge Sessions to make the appointment and to repeatedly insist that Sessions' recusal shouldn't stop him from doing so.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, right, and Rep. Trey Gowdy demanded the appointment of a special counsel to investigate "conflicts of interest" and decisions "made and not made" by current and former Justice Department officials in 2016 and 2017. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Trey Gowdy on Tuesday demanded the appointment of a special counsel to investigate "conflicts of interest" and decisions "made and not made" by current and former Justice Department officials in 2016 and 2017, noting that "the public interest requires" the action. Gowdy, R-S.C., and Goodlatte, R-Va., penned a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. "Matters have arisen--both recently and otherwise--which necessitate the appointment of a Special Counsel. We do not make this observation and attendant request lightly," Gowdy and Goodlatte wrote.
We live in a country of laws and no one should be above them. And it also includes Hillary Clinton, the president's former campaign opponent. Where there is reason to believe wrongdoing or self-dealing has occurred in violation of the laws there should be an investigation and if necessary a prosecution.
Jeff Sessions' pledge seemed unambiguous. "I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States," the attorney general said on March 2. His recusal came after the Washington Post revealed he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the months before the 2016 election. In his January 2017 confirmation hearing, the then-senator from Alabama had denied any contacts with Russians during the campaign, when he served as a top adviser to Donald Trump. His recusal applied to probes of Russian election meddling--and interactions between Moscow and the Trump campaign--but it also appeared to include matters concerning Hillary Clinton. During his confirmation hearing, Sessions had already pledged to recuse himself from "investigations that involve Secretary Clinton."