WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff 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 Russia, according to media reports on Monday.
The Washington Post and New York Times cited a letter from the Justice Department to the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Robert Goodlatte, responding to his request for the appointment of a special counsel to look into various matters.
The letter quoted Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd as saying that Sessions had “directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues raised in your letters,” according to the Post, which first reported the story (http://wapo.st/2zEwN7a)
Those prosecutors would then make recommendations “as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel,” the letter said.
Last month, Republican leaders of two House committees launched an investigation into an Obama-era deal in which a Russian company bought a Canadian firm that owned some 20 percent of U.S. uranium supplies.
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 have accused Republicans of launching a spurious investigation of Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, to divert attention from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged links between President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia.
Representative Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said five congressional committees, including the oversight panel, had investigated the deal and “identified no evidence to substantiate allegations that Secretary Clinton orchestrated, manipulated, or otherwise coerced” the interagency committee to approve the deal.
(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Peter Cooney)