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Congressman Claims Sessions Has Recused Himself on Uranium One Deal

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I’m seriously beginning to wonder what is wrong with Jeff Sessions. Back in late September, the Attorney General told a small group of lawmakers that he was recused from appointing a special counsel to look into potential corruption surrounding the Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS’ work on the Trump dossier. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says that he and other House Judiciary Committee Republicans met with Sessions at the Justice Department on September 28th in advance of an upcoming committee hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein later this month. That’s when Sessions shocked the heck out of them.

Gaetz stated that when he asked Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the 2010 Uranium One deal and Fusion GPS, Sessions stood up, said he could not discuss the matter because he had recused himself, and walked out of the room. They were left with a group of Rosenstein staffers “who showed no interest.”

“He said that anything that had to do with 2016 election, or Russia, or the candidates in the 2016 election, fell under the scope of his recusal, and he left the room,” Gaetz said. Now, some are saying they never heard Sessions say that, but why would Gaetz lie about it? It gains him nothing. “It was Sessions’ position that his recusal on the Russia matter divorced him from any oversight on Uranium One and Fusion GPS. That’s troubling. Sessions’ recusal is a function of his involvement in the Trump campaign. In no world does that impact his judgment as it relates to Fusion GPS and Uranium One. But he views the recusal more broadly. That’s troubling because that puts Rosenstein in charge,” he said.

Additionally, Gaetz said Rosenstein’s staffers provided “no answers” and “no timeline for answers.” “It must be very frustrating for the President that the Department of Justice is overreacting to fictitious allegations and subsequently paralyzed to truly vet incursions into our nuclear assets,” he said. “Attorney General Sessions does not believe he has the power to appoint a special counsel on this matter.”

Also 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). Republicans are putting massive pressure on the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to look into the 2010 Uranium One deal and potential corruption surrounding then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Unfortunately, Sessions recusal would leave the appointment of a special counsel to Rosenstein. He has a conflict of interest as he was involved in the approval of the Uranium One deal just as Mueller does.

Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) expressed frustration with Sessions and perhaps Rosenstein, calling on “whoever” was not recused at the Justice Department to call for a special counsel. “Whoever in DOJ is capable w authority to appoint a special counsel shld do so to investigate Uranium One ‘whoever’ means if u aren’t recused,” he tweeted. Many Republicans and the President share his frustration. Sessions has refused so far to confirm he has recused himself from the Uranium One case.

Gaetz says he is heartened by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s call for a special counsel to look into the Uranium One deal and he and his fellow Republicans on the Judiciary Committee plan to press Sessions and Rosenstein during the upcoming hearing on the need for one. “My expectation is that there will be very tough questions asked about why we have not pursued the Uranium One scandal with the same vigor that we’ve pursued Trump Russia allegations that so far have proven unfounded,” he said.

President Trump is voicing his frustrations over this. “A lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday morning before leaving for his trip to Asia. I would say Sessions is on very thin ice… again.

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