Not long after President Trump stated that he was “disappointed” in the Justice Department for not “looking at the Democrats” (while still saying of the DOJ, “I’d like to let it run itself”), Attorney General Jeff Sessions is taking aim at Hillary Clinton. The New York Times reports what smells a lot like retaliation for the existence of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his mission to investigate the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.
Sessions is now weighing whether or not to appoint a second special counsel, which would be responsible for investigating multiple matters associated with Hillary. Those matters include alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One deal that Trump refers to as “the real Russia story,” and — you knew this was coming — Hillary’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. If this second special counsel ends up being appointed, some obvious problems will arise:
If prosecutors do appoint a special counsel, it is a move that could raise questions about the independence of federal investigations under President Trump.
Since Watergate, the Justice Department has largely operated independently of political influence on cases related to the president’s opponents. But the disclosure appeared to be a direct response to signals that Mr. Trump sent to his beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, 10 days ago in the news media. Mr. Trump said that he was disappointed in Mr. Sessions and said that longstanding unproven allegations about the Clintons and the Obama administration should be investigated.
House Intel Chair Devin “Inspector Clouseau” Nunes has already opened a probe into the Uranium One deal, and both Fox News and Trump are beyond obsessed by the subject. Beyond the whole abuse-of-power vibe at work with Trump possibly influencing the DOJ and the retaliatory aspect of such an appointment, a second special counsel would effectively discredit Mueller, who was FBI director when the Uranium One deal took place.
Not only that, but a second special counsel would be a major distraction from Mueller’s work on Russia. Of course, that’s probably the point here, right?