Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that an ongoing probe into President Trump “needs to conclude” in order to let him focus on North Korea, the U.S.-Mexico border and other world negotiations.
Mr. Sessions also said he expects the Justice Department inspector general to finish his investigation into the department’s and FBI’s handling of investigations into Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election in a “few weeks,” saying that will provide more information for decisions on whether there was wrongdoing.
Testifying to the House on Thursday, Mr. Sessions was pressed by a lawmaker who said he saw a “double standard” in comparing the ongoing special counsel probe into Mr. Trump, while Mr. Sessions has declined to name a second special counsel to review the way the department and the FBI handled Mrs. Clinton.
“At the very root of this, I think my constituents are frustrated, are angry, they see a double standard historically. They want justice,” said Rep. Evan Jenkins, West Virginia Republican, ticking off a number of red flags he said deserved the heightened powers a special counsel should look at.
Mr. Sessions said he didn’t want to appoint special counsels “willy-nilly” but said his department is taking deliberate steps. He’s named a U.S. attorney to oversee an investigation and coordinate with the inspector general whose probe has been ongoing for months.
He also said they’re sharing an unprecedented amount of information with GOP-led congressional committees who are probing the same matters.
“If there’s wrongdoing we’re going to take action about it,” he said.
He said he knows the president is “concerned” about the ongoing special counsel investigation into figures surrounding Mr. Trump, and Mr. Sessions said it needs to end so the president can deal with the job of running the executive branch.
“He’s dealing with France and North Korea and Syria and taxes and regulations and border and crime every day,” Mr. Sessions said. “This thing needs to conclude. So I understand his frustrations and I understand the American people’s frustrations.”