Is He Or Isn’t He? Jeff Sessions, Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation, and Recusal
Some confusion erupted this week over the status of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in regards to any current or future investigation of Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation.
A Wall Street Journal video article from January titled Sen. Sessions to Recuse Himself From Clinton Email Investigations was retweeted. This is from Sessions’s confirmation hearing and in it Sessions seems to commit himself to a formal recusal from any investigation of Clinton.
In an October 19 hearing. Charles Grassley asked Sessions about the Uranium One case and got no answer from Sessions. On Wednesday, Grassley sent out this cryptic tweet obviously aimed at Sessions:
On Thursday Breitbart ran this article, Congressman Says Jeff Sessions Has Recused Himself on Uranium One Deal
Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a small group of lawmakers in late September he was recused from appointing a special counsel to look into potential corruption surrounding the Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS’s work on the Trump dossier, according to one of the lawmakers present.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Breitbart News on Wednesday that he and other House Judiciary Committee Republicans had met with Sessions at the Justice Department on September 28 in advance of an upcoming committee hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later this month.
Gaetz said that when he asked Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the 2010 Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS, the attorney general stood up, said he could not discuss the matter because he had recused himself, and walked out of the room, leaving them with a group of Rosenstein staffers “who showed no interest.”
Other House members present at the meeting were Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and Louis Gohmert (R-TX).
In the same article, the Justice spokesperson gave a nebulous response:
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores earlier this week said she did not believe that others remembered Sessions making the statements about his recusal that Gaetz claimed but would not comment directly or not about whether Sessions was recused from the Uranium One issue.
Sean Hannity addressed that rumor and says it is false
One sort of has to go with Hannity on this. Sessions’s people in Justice do themselves no good by burning Hannity so if several did deny the rumor, I’d believe them. I think there is also a good chance that the Breitbart story, coming in lockstep with Trump’s radio interview and Twitter rampage about Justice and Clinton Thursday and Friday, seems designed to smoke Sessions out and make him disclose his intentions.
If Sessions did recuse, it would lead to an interesting dilemma as Rod Rosenstein would also have to recuse himself as he led the flaccid, Clinton-friendly Uranium One prosecution.
So, from what we know right now, the safe bet is a) there is an active investigation into Uranium One and probably the Clinton Foundation, and b) Jeff Sessions is not recused. All of that, of course, is subject to change at no notice.