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Friday, July 28, 2017

GOPers call for 2nd special counsel to probe Clinton and others

The Three Stooges
Republicans are calling on the Justice Department to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the barge-load of 2016 campaign controversies involving Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. They warn that these questions can't "be allowed to die on the vine" as the Russia probe is going on.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert William Goodlatte (R-Va.) and GOP committee colleagues requested in a letter Thursday to Attorney General (for now) Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and Deputy Attorney General Rod Jay Rosenstein.

"The American public has a right to know the facts--all of them--surrounding the election and its aftermath," they said. "We urge you to appoint a second special counsel to ensure these troubling, unanswered questions are not relegated to the dustbin of history."

They want an entirely separate special counsel probe from Robert Mueller's, particularly since Mueller brought along big Hillary Clinton and Democratic donors as part of his team. They argue that many unanswered questions remain from the 2016 campaign cycle that have been swept under the rug amid the intense focus on Russia.

Here is the request:
1. Allegations that former AG Loretta Lynch instructed then-FBI Director James Comey to downplay the nature of the Clinton email probe
2. The FBI and DoJ's decisions in the course of the email probe, including controversial immunity deals with Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and several others
3. The State Department's involvement in which of Clinton's emails to make public
4. Disclosures in WikiLeaks-released emails regarding the Clinton Foundation and, "its potentially unlawful international dealings"
5. Connections between Clinton officials and "foreign entities" that include Russia and Ukraine
6. Revelations in hacked DNC emails about "inappropriate" coordination between the DNC and Clinton campaign against Bernie Sanders' Democratic primary campaign
7. The "unmasking" of Americans in intelligence documents and possibly related "leaks of classified information" 
8. Comey's admitted leak of details of his conversations with President Trump
9. The FBI's "reliance" on controversial firm Fusion GPS, which was involved in the questionable anti-Trump "dossier" 
The lawmakers wrote that "Our call for a special counsel is not made lightly. We have no interest in engendering more bad feelings and less confidence in the process or governmental institutions by the American people. Rather, our call is made on their behalf. It is meant to determine whether the criminal prosecution of any individual is warranted based on the solemn obligation to follow the facts wherever they lead and applying the law to those facts."

The request comes at a time when AG Sessions is under tremendous pressure from Trump (who sees Sessions as his personal attorney) to revisit last year's controversies over Clinton and Democratic officials. Trump has publicly (aka wrongfully) shamed Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe, which eventuated in Mueller's appointment by Rosenstein.

Sessions admitted to Fox News' Tucker Carlson that the criticism was "kind of hurtful" but defended his decision and said he'd stay on the job as long as Trump allows.

Predictably, the Democrats criticized GOP efforts at obtaining justice in the 2016 controversies, saying that Russia's interference in the campaign is more pressing than putting Hillary and her crew in the slammer just because they broke the law and compromised the country.

The Fusion GPS firm came under renewed criticism this week after a Senate hearing witness alleged they were connected to Russia-backed efforts to fight U.S. sanctions on Russia.

House Judiciary Republicans voted to call an investigation into Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe in which she clearly used an illegal private email server which contained high levels of classified documents.

One of the Republicans was Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). "I don't think that the crimes of the prior administration, of Hillary Clinton, the collusion with James Comey and Loretta Lynch should be forgotten just because Hillary Clinton lost the election," he told "Fox & Friends" on Friday, saying too that there seems to be a "double standard in justice."