Attorney General Jeff Sessions is entertaining the idea of appointing a second special counsel to investigate a host of Republican concerns — including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia — and has directed senior federal prosecutors to explore at least some of the matters and report back to him and his top deputy, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post.
The revelation came in a response by the Justice Department to an inquiry from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who in July and again in September called for Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to investigate concerns he had related to the 2016 election and its aftermath.
The list of matters he wanted probed was wide ranging but included the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, various dealings of the Clinton Foundation and several matters connected to the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One by Russia’s nuclear energy agency. Goodlatte took particular aim at former FBI director James B. Comey, asking for the second special counsel to evaluate the leaks he directed about his conversations with President Trump, among other things.
In response, Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote that Sessions had “directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues raised in your letters,” and that those prosecutors would “report directly to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will 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.”
Tuesday Reads: So Much News!Posted: November 14, 2017 Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: Bill Clinton, Bob Corker, Department of Justice, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, George Papadopoulos, Hillary Clinton, Jeff Sessions, Juanita Broaddrick, Julian Assange, nuclear weapons, Roy Moore, Vladimir Putin 59 Comments
Once again, there is so much news breaking that it’s difficult to decide what to focus on. So I’ll begin with what’s happening right now, and take it from there.
Right now Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Guess what? He doesn’t remember the meeting where he is pictured with George Papadopoulos and at which Papadopoulos discussed setting up a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. That’s really strange, because just a short time ago, he claimed to remember objecting to the proposal.
Vanity Fair on Nov. 2: Sessions Suddenly Remembers Russia Conversation He Said Didn’t Happen.
Back in June, there was some cause for concern that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was having memory problems. When questioned from multiple angles during multiple appearances before Congressional investigators about the Trump campaign‘s relationship to Russia, Sessions‘s consistent refrain was: “I don’t recall.”
He gave an equally evasive response when Minnesota Senator Al Franken specifically asked whether surrogates from the Trump campaign had communicated with Russians during the 2016 election in October. “I did not, and I’m not aware of anyone else that did, and I don’t believe it happened,” Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee under oath. (He made similar statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee.)
Now, however, Sessions has reportedly changed his tune. Citing a source familiar with Sessions’s thinking, NBC News reported on Thursday that the attorney general—who served as a top Trump surrogate and headed the then-presidential hopeful’s national security team—does in fact recall rejecting George Papadopoulos’s offer to arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin, after the Republican candidate stopped short of ruling out the idea.
“The March 31 comments by this Papadopoulos person did not leave a lasting impression,” the source told NBC News. “As far as Sessions seemed to be concerned, when he shut down this idea of Papadopoulos engaging with Russia, that was the end of it and he moved the meeting along to other issues.” The source added that Papadopoulos was viewed by those in attendance “as someone who didn’t have a lot of credibility.”
The Washington Post, among other news outlets is reporting that Jeff Sessions is thinking about appointing a second special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton.
In today’s hearing, Sessions said he can’t confirm or deny any investigation involving the DOJ. It’s important to note that during his confirmation hearing, Sessions pledged to recuse himself from any matters involving Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times has published some direct quotes from Sessions’ testimony this morning: Jeff Sessions Displays Unsteady Recall on Trump-Russia Matters.
Mr. Sessions denied that he lied in October when he testified that he knew of nobody in the Trump campaign who had contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign. “And I don’t believe it happened,” he said.
Court records later revealed that Mr. Sessions led a March 2016 meeting in which George Papadopoulos, a campaign aide, discussed his Russian ties and suggested setting up a meeting between Mr. Trump. and Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president.
“I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports,” Mr. Sessions said.
Mr. Sessions testified Tuesday that was still hazy on the details about what Mr. Papadopoulos had proposed.
But on one matter, he said his memory is clear: he said he shot down Mr. Papadopoulos’ idea of a Trump-Putin meet-up. And he said he told Mr. Papadopoulos that he was not authorized to represent the campaign in such discussions.
To sum up: Mr. Sessions said he could not remember much about Russian influence on the Trump campaign, except when he could block such influence.
In other news, Don Jr. is in more trouble. You’ve probably read the article by Julia Ioffe in The Atlantic: The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks.
Just before the stroke of midnight on September 20, 2016, at the height of last year’s presidential election, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a private direct message to Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee’s oldest son and campaign surrogate. “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,” WikiLeaks wrote. “The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?” (The site, which has since become a joint project with Mother Jones, was founded by Rob Glaser, a tech entrepreneur, and was funded by Progress for USA Political Action Committee.)
The next morning, about 12 hours later, Trump Jr. responded to WikiLeaks. “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around,” he wrote on September 21, 2016. “Thanks.”
The messages, obtained by The Atlantic, were also turned over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers to congressional investigators. They are part of a long—and largely one-sided—correspondence between WikiLeaks and the president’s son that continued until at least July 2017.
Read the rest at the link if you haven’t already. Julian Assange, who controls the Wikileaks Twitter account has responded by claiming he was just “Trying to ‘Beguile’ Donald Trump Jr. Into Leaking.”
There’s another hearing going on simultaneously with the Sessions hearing on Trump’s ability to use nuclear weapons. Quartz: Watch live: Should Trump have control of US nuclear weapons?
For the first time since 1976, US lawmakers are re-evaluating who should control America’s nuclear weapons.
Today (Nov. 14), expert witnesses will testify before senators on US national “authority and process” over its nuclear arsenal. The hearing follows a tense few months, in which North Korea has continued nuclear testing, and Donald Trump has responded with belligerent improvisational statements, threatening “fire and fury” and warning that a military response was “locked and loaded.”
Could the US president start a nuclear war with North Korea? That’s what the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing aims to figure out. The hearing will be broadcast on public-service network C-SPAN at 10am US Eastern Time. You can watch it online here.
There’s also the ongoing Roy Moore scandal. Some links to check out if you haven’t already:
CBS News: New accuser steps forward in Roy Moore case.
AL.com: Gadsden locals say Moore’s predatory behavior at mall, restaurants not a secret.
The New Yorker: Locals Were Troubled by Roy Moore’s Interactions with Teen Girls at the Gadsden Mall.
TPM: Alabama GOP Moves Toward Deciding Roy Moore’s Fate Later This Week.
AL.com also posted an editorial yesterday: Our view: Roy Moore grossly unfit for office.
Roy Moore simply cannot be a U.S. Senator. Even if his party and many of its adherents still think it possible, it is unthinkable — for his state, and his country.
Last week, four women described Moore’s unseemly taste for dating high school girls when he was a single man in his 30s. Another described what can only be seen as a sexual assault on her when she was 14. In a radio interview last week, Moore himself suggested that he may have dated teenage women during his 30s, though he vehemently denied the claims made by these women.
Today, even as those women face disgusting attacks on their motives and credibility, a fifth brave Alabama woman stepped forward and described how when she was 16, Moore violently sexually assaulted her in his car. She said she felt it to be an attempted rape, and that it ended with her bruised from either falling from or being pushed from the car, with Moore warning her he was a powerful man and that no one would believe her if she told anyone.
The seriousness of these incidents cannot be overstated. They should not be parsed with talk of statutes of limitations or whether proof exists. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a consideration for the courtroom, not the ballot box. When choosing our representative before the rest of the world, character matters….
We believe these women.
As a news organization, we have independently investigated as many of these claims as possible and have found no reason to doubt the accounts outlined in the Washington Post. If anything, the stories we’ve heard in Etowah County have only further corroborated them.
In our view, Moore has already revealed himself as grossly unfit to be a U.S. Senator before these revelations.
At The New York Times, Michelle Goldberg suggests that past accusations against Bill Clinton should be reevaluated in the light of recent revelations about powerful men harassing and assaulting women: I Believe Juanita. The title is explosive, but Goldberg’s only reason for believing Juanita Broaddrick’s accusations is that they are similar to recent allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Of the Clinton accusers, the one who haunts me is Broaddrick. The story she tells about Clinton recalls those we’ve heard about Weinstein. She claimed they had plans to meet in a hotel coffee shop, but at the last minute he asked to come up to her hotel room instead, where he raped her. Five witnesses said she confided in them about the assault right after it happened. It’s true that she denied the rape in an affidavit to Paula Jones’s lawyers, before changing her story when talking to federal investigators. But her explanation, that she didn’t want to go public but couldn’t lie to the F.B.I., makes sense. Put simply, I believe her.
What to do with that belief? Contemplating this history is excruciating in part because of the way it has been weaponized against Hillary Clinton. Broaddrick sees her as complicit, interpreting something Hillary once said to her at a political event — “I want you to know that we appreciate everything you do for Bill” — as a veiled threat instead of a rote greeting. This seems wildly unlikely; Broaddrick was decades away from going public, and most reporting about the Clinton marriage shows Bill going to great lengths to hide his betrayals. Nevertheless, one of the sick ironies of the 2016 campaign was that it was Hillary who had to pay the political price for Bill’s misdeeds, as they were trotted out to deflect attention from Trump’s well-documented transgressions.
And now they’re being trotted out again. It’s fair to conclude that because of Broaddrick’s allegations, Bill Clinton no longer has a place in decent society. But we should remember that it’s not simply partisan tribalism that led liberals to doubt her. Discerning what might be true in a blizzard of lies isn’t easy, and the people who spread those lies don’t get to claim the moral high ground. We should err on the side of believing women, but sometimes, that belief will be used against us.
To say that Bill Clinton “no longer has a place in decent society” is a bit much at this point, IMHO. I don’t know much about Broaddrick’s claims; but apparently these old accusations are going to be recycled. Will Jeff Sessions appoint another special prosecutor?
It is mandatory for all EB-5 applicants to provide or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs. When an investor doesn’t actually invest into a new business, a preserve piece comes in since they may be investing in an already existing business. You can checkout reviews and articles for more information.
So much news happening–what will today bring? What stories are you following?
How to watch Jeff Sessions testify before the House Judiciary Committee
Online: CBSN will live-stream the event
Surely, Goldberg knows that there was no proof, that Broaddrick told no one at the time, placed the event in a hotel that was not yet built and at a time when Clinton was out of town.
If memory serves, Gene Lyons dismantled Broaddrick’s rape claim.
Of course, I’m always inclined to believe a woman but I’d have to be a real naif not to know that there are troubled and/or grasping women in this world.
She told five people at the time according to Wikipedia.
That’s enough outcry witnesses for proof beyond a reasonable doubt in most states’ rape and sexual assault laws. I know because I worked feverishly in high school and university to change Nebraska’s sexual battery laws. They’ve toughened up since then. I worked on the Rape Line in Omaha as a teen and had friends sexually assaulted at university. Also used to give seminars to sorority girls on date rape. I’m an old time activist on this subject. I still can’t believe we can’t take back the day let alone the night. But, this all happened at the time I was changing those laws so gawdness knows what Alabama law was and what their expiration date is on child sexual assault. There’s enough lawyers in the US Senate to know 5 outcry witnesses make a solid case. Most states only require 2 or an eyewitness. Used to be only eyewitnesses counted and you need 2 or more.
The main problem is that Broaddrick denied under oath that anything like that happened.
In 1999 she told her story to Dateline and said Clinton had raped her.
Yeah. That kind of messes things up.
Didn’t see claim to have gotten her hotel room ready. Candles, flowers, balloons, little finger foods. WTH?
Yes, she told multiple stories through the years. Do you really believe that Bill Clinton is a rapist? Do you hold that no woman is delusional or ever lies for gain or approval?
We, as a people, have lost the ability to judge matters on a individual basis. Because of the opioid crisis, I am unable to obtain pain meds for the extensive and painful dental work I’m currently undergoing. But what’s much more concerning to me is the people who depend on opioids to leave the house and function in the world and are being cut off because others are buying heroin and fentanyl in abandoned shopping malls.
Even the wisdom of always believing children must be questioned in light of the McMartin Pre School horror.
Are you asking me? I don’t want to believe it, and I don’t see the value of relitigating it. But it looks like people like Chris Hayes are going to demand it.
Didn’t Ken Starr investigate? I’m not sure.
Ask Chris Hayes to investigate Dennis Hastert too.
Wow, most people couldn’t tell you about McMartin Pre School…………I remember.
Funny how of ALL the things that the media does NOT want to re-litigate, Bill Clinton is NEVER one of them.
Exactly. The only reason Republicans would do it would be to tar Hillary, who isn’t responsible for anything Bill did.
To tar Hills and shield Repugs…
Yup. Change the subject. I don’t think it will work.
That is it.
Especially in the Clinton stuff, it is hard to sift out the truth. But one thing I know. During his time in the White House, after the scandal exploded Clinton and Hillary had marriage counseling and Bill had separate counseling by a doctor. I do not believe he ever did it again. He changed. These other guys have not. Also listening to the impeachment hearing and Kenneth Starr’s testimony before the committee, I got a huge feeling the evidence in his impeachment was mostly contrived.
Politico: Sessions casts doubt on need for Hillary Clinton special counsel.
That unqualified candidate that Trump nominated has more problems.
NYT: Trump Judicial Pick Did Not Disclose He Is Married to a White House Lawyer
Before He Was Tapped By Donald Trump, Controversial Judicial Nominee Brett J. Talley Investigated Paranormal Activity
This should be criminal.
Link to Buzzfeed story:
There’s tax breaks for owners of golf courses, however …
That crushes the “at least we’ll have Medicare if we live long enough” hopes. Bastards. Golf course tycoons win over hard-working Americans in their retirement years.
Especially after the republicans have done their most to kill unions, stop corporations from having pensions for their workers and providing health care beyond retirement date. If business owners are so wonderful and smart why do we have to keep giving them tax breaks and making their rules more lenient??? Medicare is an insurance that we paid into for decades and then they get to cut or kill it?? Republicans make me want to swear.
I told so many people this during the election, and they refused to believe it, well, let them suffer.
Sorry, BB, I posted this and later found in my TL that you’d RT’d it. Annoys me that Twitter seems to follow no chronological order.
I RT’d it after you posted it here. I wanted to save it for reference.
LOL, ok. I realized I may have been looking at the time stamp on the original tweet rather than when you retweeted it.
The same Samantha Power who called Hillary Clinton “a monster” in 2008.
So much blood, so many hands.
And now they realize that Trump is the monster. Too late. Powers is well-off, but most of the rest of us aren’t.
Funny how thoughts burst into your head.
We have all heard some Alabama Republicans saying “Voting for Moore is better than voting for a Democrat.”
I was trying to think what could POSSIBLY be so objectionable about a liberal that it would make one less palatable than a serial molester.
What do they think we do, or that we believe in, that they could not say, “An honest liberal with integrity is someone I am at least willing to debate and argue with.”
But it made me wonder about what does a Republican mean to me? Why don’t I have a “favorite” Republican anymore, like I did when I was a kid. (The honest conservative that you disagree with but that you can respect).
Well, they are against equal rights for minorities, equal rights for women (including the right to choose) and equal rights for LGBTs, they are against publicly funded health care, they are fanatical about guns, they want to inject their religious beliefs into public life.
Some of that stuff really means a lot to me. Kind of gets my dander up. Hmm, I must admit, equal rights is an absolute deal breaker, health care is a big hurdle but negotiable, and I am for “sensible” gun control not a total ban so I am willing to go incremental on that one, BUT religion is another non-starter.
Then it dawned on me that my objections are probably their objections. Equal rights, health care, guns and religion. The difference is I (we) never bought into the idea that their positions are SO inherently EVIL that rather than suffer a conservative infidel, I would cozy up to a molester. They will NEVER change my mind, but we can share the planet even if we never agree.
What must we do to pull the heads of our conservative fellow citizens out of the ASSES of Steve Bannon and Rush Limbaugh so that we can get back to argument and debate rather than rage and hate!
Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine?
But that won’t happen; Reagan abolished it in 1987 when he saw the gleam in Rupert Murdoch’s eye.
The Guardian: Roy Moore challenged Alabama law that protects rape victims, documents reveal
Unbelievable. Talk about in plain sight.
Wow, another one:
I had no idea this happened until now.
Saw that this morning but I’m so sick of gun deaths and didn’t want to post it. Shooter had a history of — yes, you guessed it — “domestic” violence.
Love that all the journos call it “domestic dispute,” now and not what they should: domestic terrorism.
“Dispute” WTF!? That’s even worse!
And the “domestic” shit. He’s not terrorizing a house. He’s terrorizing people. Women. Kids. But let’s erase that and mention architecture instead.
(I’m not yelling at your usage, Sue. I’m just spitting nails about what I keep seeing on the news.)
I saw a FOX News headline this morning that gives every indication that their plan is to go after Bill Clinton in order to deflect current GOP scandals.
I hate to tell you this, but the Bernie bros are already going after Bill.
Matthew Yglesias: Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned.
Chris Hayes is pushing it too.
But he didn’t. I am glad he didn’t. I have no desire to relive this, but I survived before so….
Oh, and I don’t much care for Chris Hayes either.
He’s just another Bernie bro.
The left never fails to take the bait. That is why we lose. We have an active and ongoing criminal conspiracy running the country into the ground, aided and abetted by Nazis and White Supremacists (I wish this was hyperbole) and we are about to waste time with whether or not Bill Clinton have suffered enough.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, has had their ass kicked by media more than Bill Clinton. Except Hillary Clinton that is. They had the audacity to survive.
The house is literally (not literally, but you you know what I mean) on fire, and we are going to do this again?
We have a Russian mole in the White House. Back by media savvy Neo-Fascists, the cleptocracy is in full effect and Bill Clinton is a problem?
There is no font size big enough for the WTF I feel right now.
It’s all whataboutism in capital letters and the Berniebros are falling for it. But they fell for Bernie so no surprise here.
Thank you Ron – well said.
WJC was impeached. Did he abuse his power with women? – sure he did. He was a billygoat – but I don’t believe he raped Broaddrick. His accusers were adults at least and frankly seem to me to have been a little on the consensual side. He had adulterous affairs.
Meanwhile a sexual predator of the non-consensual type sits in the WH.
Even Ken Starr didn’t believe it and he was looking at anything that would remove Clinton from office. Her story changed many times and she swore under oath that he didn’t attack her.