Sessions: No New Special Counsel Yet for Republican Concerns - NECN

Sessions: No New Special Counsel Yet for Republican Concerns

Sessions has faced mounting pressure from members of his own party

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Sessions: No New Special Counsel Yet for Republican Concerns
    Getty Images
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions takes questions during a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on Feb. 27, 2018.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he won't immediately appoint a new special counsel to investigate a number of Republican grievances involving the FBI and Justice Department, despite mounting pressure from members of his own party.

    Sessions, in a letter to three Republican committee leaders, reiterated that he had directed a senior federal prosecutor, Utah's U.S. attorney John W. Huber, to evaluate "certain issues," including whether such an appointment is necessary. Huber's review is ongoing, and Sessions said he gets regular updates.

    The letter is likely to unnerve Republican lawmakers, who have called for multiple special counsels to study allegations of misconduct in some of the FBI's highest profile, most politically charged investigations. Most recently, they've demanded a special counsel to take a broad look at whether Justice Department or FBI employees were biased during their now-closed probe of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, and as they began investigating Trump campaign ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Democrats say the allegations are an effort to distract from and undermine the separate work of special counsel Robert Mueller as his team's Russia investigation intensifies.

    Trump: Military 'Ready if Necessary' to Respond to N. Korea

    [NATL] Trump Says Military is 'Ready if Necessary' to Respond to N. Korea

    Moments after the White House sent a letter to North Korea canceling a planned U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore, President Donald Trump said the United States military was ready to respond to "foolish or reckless acts" from North Korea, claiming that South Korea and Japan will pay for the cost.

    (Published Thursday, May 24, 2018)

    Sessions' letter comes a day after the Justice Department's inspector general announced that, at Sessions' urging, it would review whether law enforcement officials abused their surveillance powers in seeking permission to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

    Sessions' referral of the allegations to the inspector general enraged President Donald Trump, who said Sessions should have ordered is own investigation. But in his letter to lawmakers, Sessions reminded that the inspector general's office can and often does refer matters for prosecution.

    And he said the Justice Department has proven capable of handling "high-profile, resource-intensive matters" without the rare appointment of a special counsel.

    Trump Cancels US-N. Korea Summit in Letter to Kim Jong Un

    [NATL] Trump Cancels US-N. Korea Summit in Letter to Kim Jong Un

    Citing "tremendous anger and open hostility," President Donald Trump cancelled a planned Singapore summit between the United States and North Korea. Trump also referred to the United States' nuclear arsenal in the letter, made public on the same day North Korea destroyed a nuclear testing facility in view of foreign journalists.

    (Published Thursday, May 24, 2018)

    Huber, an Obama administration holdover re-nominated to serve as Utah's top federal prosecutor, will conduct a "full, complete and objective evaluation" of Republican concerns and submit recommendations, Sessions said.