Sessions Asks for Federal Prosecutors
As reported by CNN, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked federal prosecutors to “evaluate certain issues” related to the Clinton Foundation. Key among the issues to be examined is the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the sale of Uranium One. The Canadian-owned Uranium One was sold to Rosatom, owned by the Russian government, while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State.
The concerns with the deal swirl around the fact that former investors in Uranium One have been linked to $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. The largest of the donors was Canadian mining executive Frank Giustra, who has given the Clinton Foundation at least $100 million. Giustra appears to have sold his interest in Uranium One before the negotiations to sell to Rosatom began in earnest.
Is A Special Prosecutor Really Warranted?
Sessions’ request to have federal prosecutors examine the Uranium One – Clinton Foundation connection is receiving mixed reviews. Democrats are not necessarily convinced that there is no untoward connection and there is nothing of concern to be investigated.
The Democrats undermine their own credibility when they take such an extreme view of such issues.
There are some Republicans who are taking an extreme view of the issue on the flip side of the coin. There certainly feels like there is something to the issue. Further investigation is warranted. However, it is too early to call for a special prosecutor. As Jonah Goldberg said in National Review:
“Now let me say that I have no problem believing that Hillary Clinton sold influence or the appearance of influence. I have no problem believing that the Clinton Foundation sold access or the appearance of access. I have no objection to the DOJ investigating the Clintons and, if warranted, Uranium One.”
Goldberg concludes his argument by saying none of this means that a special prosecutor is needed in this case. Prosecutors can examine the workings of the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One in their normal course of business. A regular examination is conducted under the guidance of the Department of Justice and, ultimately, the Attorney General. A special prosecutor is required when there is the potential that the Department of Justice may somehow be in conflict with the work of the prosecutors.
Special prosecutors are given more leeway to conduct their investigations than are regular investigators of the Department of Justice. The appointment of a special prosecutor can increase the level of partisanship on Capitol Hill, often times unnecessarily. There is no reason to make Capitol Hill more partisan. Special prosecutors inevitably spend a lot of money and what they investigate doesn’t always provide value.
The objections to a special prosecutor are reasonable in this case. There have been no allegations of Department of Justice involvement with the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One. Until the involvement of the Department of Justice is reasonably suspected there is no reason for them not to conduct their investigation.
It really isn’t in the best interest of the Republicans to be arguing for the appointment of a special prosecutor at this stage. Until more information is revealed, Republican calls for a special prosecutor are as shrill and partisan as those coming from Democrats who want to impeach Donald Trump.
Bill and Hillary Clinton have undoubtedly used the Clinton Foundation as a means of generating vast sums of money for their personal benefit. The Uranium One deal is among a number of questionable transactions in which the Clintons appear to be selling influence and funneling the proceeds to the Clinton Foundation. All of this may well be true, yet it still falls short of the situation needed for the appointment of a special prosecutor.