Attorney General Jeff Sessions considers appointment of new special counsel

Attorney General Jeff Sessions considers appointment of new special counsel

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, which is holding an oversight hearing Tuesday, the Justice Department said Sessions had directed senior federal prosecutors to “evaluate certain issues” recently raised by Republican lawmakers.

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

The letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd did not say what specific steps might be taken by the Justice Department to address the lawmakers’ concerns, or whether any of the matters Republicans have seized might on already be under investigation.

Any appointment of a new special counsel, particularly in response to calls from members of Congress, is likely to lead to Democratic complaints about an undue political influence on the department’s decision-making. But Boyd said in the letter that the department “will never evaluate any matter except on the facts and the law.”

Sessions said at his January confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Democrat Hillary Clinton given his role as a vocal campaign surrogate to President Donald Trump.

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