- The Washington Times - Friday, November 18, 2016

Confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general could spell trouble for Hillary Clinton through a possible revival of investigations into her private email server and her family’s charitable foundation.

The Republican senator has previously said he was “uncomfortable” with the way the Clinton email investigation was conducted and has said President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge during his campaign to appoint a special prosecutor to review the case “might be justified.”

Mr. Sessions was nominated Friday by Mr. Trump for the nation’s top law enforcement position and, if confirmed, would have the authority to revisit the email probe.

The FBI and Justice Department formally closed the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server over the summer, with FBI Director James Comey concluding that though Mrs. Clinton’s handling of classified materials was “extremely careless,” there was no basis for a criminal case.

Mr. Comey announced the probe was being renewed less than two weeks before Election Day in light of new emails uncovered as part of an unrelated investigation into the estranged husband of Mrs. Clinton’s top aide. But days before voters went to the polls, Mr. Comey again cleared Mrs. Clinton, saying the FBI didn’t find anything in the latest emails obtained from Huma Abedin’s laptop that would change his previous decision.

In a Fox Business interview from October, Mr. Sessions was critical of the decision by current Attorney General Loretta Lynch to accept Mr. Comey’s initial determination that Mrs. Clinton could not be criminally charged, saying he thought a grand jury should have been convened in the case.

“I think this was not the kind of investigation that was likely to get to the bottom of it,” the Alabama senator said. “It did appear to me there was sufficient evidence to bring a charge.”

He called Ms. Lynch’s decision to accept the FBI’s recommendation “a total abandonment of her responsibility.”

“Of course the FBI director can make a recommendation to her, but she’s the one that decides whether or not to bring a case before the grand jury,” he said.

It unclear now that Mr. Trump has been elected whether he would continue to advocate for renewed investigation of Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Trump declined to give a definitive answer when asked on “60 Minutes” this week whether he would appoint a special prosecutor, calling Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton “good people.”

Mr. Sessions has also had harsh words for Mrs. Clinton over her family’s Clinton Foundation, questioning the relationship between the foundation and the State Department during her time as secretary of state.

“The evidence indicates to me that this should be fully investigated,” Mr. Sessions told CNN in August.”The fundamental thing is you cannot be secretary of state of the United States of America and use that position to extort or seek contributions to your private foundation. That is a fundamental violation of law and that does appear to have happened.”

To prevent prosecutorial action against Mrs. Clinton by the incoming Republican administration, President Barack Obama could potentially issue a preemptive pardon. The White House has declined to comment on whether that action is being considered, but legal experts say such a pardon could rank among the most contentious issued by modern-day presidents.


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