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Jeff Sessions Weighs Competing Special Counsel Focused On Clinton, Democrats

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Goodlatte had particularly taken aim at former FBI Director James Comey after revelations surfaced earlier this year that he had drafted a statement ending the agency's investigation into Clinton's email server before over a dozen key witnesses had been interviewed about the issue.

The Post cited a letter it said it obtained from Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, who twice has requested Sessions appoint a special counsel.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked senior federal prosecutors to "evaluate certain issues" presented by House Republicans, including alleged ties between the Clinton Foundation and the sale of Uranium One.

Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly weighed in on department affairs, publicly lamenting that he does not have more direct involvement with it and calling on law enforcement scrutiny of Democrat Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential race, and other Democrats.

"Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn't looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems", Trump said in a series of tweets on November 3.

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A special counsel can be appointed when the Justice Department or a U.S. Attorney's office has a conflict of interest, there are other "extraordinary circumstances" or it would otherwise be "in the public interest" to do so, according to the federal regulation governing such appointments.

In 2010 a company called Uranium One was partially sold to Russia's nuclear authority Rosatom.

Boyd's letter didn't specify the nature of the allegations involving the Clinton Foundation, but in a letter calling for the investigation, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., discussed "WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the Clinton Foundation and its potentially unlawful worldwide dealings" and "connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russian Federation and Ukraine".

Sessions previously admitted that his past comments on Clinton would likely put his "objectivity" into question, meaning a special counsel would likely be required if a formal investigation into the controversial Uranium One deal is launched.

Some Republicans have charged that the State Department under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved the deal after her husband's charitable foundation received a $145 million donation. Democrats on the committee have already signaled that they intend to press Sessions on his knowledge of contacts between Russians and aides to the Trump campaign.

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