This week’s revelation that the Department of Justice has launched a new investigation into the tangled finances of the family-run Clinton Foundation may be the turning point for embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to one of his fiercest Republican critics.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a House Freedom Caucus member who co-wrote an op-ed calling for Sessions to step down, said Friday on “The Ingraham Angle” that the investigation should have happened long ago.
“I think this is a turning point, and a lot of the credit goes to Chairman Nunes and the push that he’s been having, and frankly, a bunch of us,” he said, referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
FBI agents based in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the Clinton Foundation was based at its birth and where it led the design and construction of the Clinton Presidential Library, reportedly have taken the lead in the probe.
The Justice Department also reportedly is taking a new look at Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information when she was secretary of State under Barack Obama and her possible role in approving a uranium deal involving a Russian firm after the foundation took high-dollar donations from some executives.
Some Republicans have been clamoring for months for a renewed and more focused probe of the foundation, especially with regard to recurring allegations of so-called pay-to-play activities during former Clinton’s tenure as the chief U.S. diplomat.
Although pleased by the developments, Jordan said these are only part of the reason that he and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-S.C.) wrote the op-ed.
Jordan said he remains concerned about leaks out of the investigation of allegations of collusion between the Russian government and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the pronounced lack of responsiveness of the Justice Department to congressional questions and requests for documents.
Jordan also renewed his call for a second special counsel to investigate the Clinton matters.
“If there’s movement on those, fine,” he said. “That’s what I hope happens. But if there’s not, then there should be a new attorney general.”
Jordan said it is significant that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a judiciary subcommittee chairman, asked the Justice Department Friday to consider possible criminal charges against Christopher Steele, author of the infamous dossier on Trump culled from sources in Russia.
“It’s been reported that he was being reimbursed by the FBI at the same time,” Jordan said. “We don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, I think that’s problematic, certainly.”
“I wish there was one-tenth of the intensity to get answers to all the things we have learned in the last eight weeks relative to Clinton and how the investigation was handled as the Russia issue,” said Jordan.
Responding to criticism from Democrats that interest in the Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s handling of classified information on her private email server and address, and the source of the dossier are a diversionary tactic, Jordan said that after more than a year of investigating the Trump campaign, the FBI has yet to produce evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
“I wish there was one-tenth of the intensity to get answers to all the things we have learned in the last eight weeks relative to Clinton and how the investigation was handled as the Russia issue,” he said.
Sessions through it all has managed to alienate members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Many Republicans — including Trump himself, reportedly — have expressed frustration that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump sent White House counsel Donald McGhan to try to persuade Sessions not to step aside.
George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley told Fox News host and LifeZette co-founder Laura Ingraham on Friday that McGhan’s involvement is “problematic.” But he said he doubts it amounts to obstruction of justice, as many Democrats have suggested.
“I don’t see a crime here. I never have,” he said. “And I think that the best thing for the president is to remove all of these shadows and say, ‘Go ahead, investigate it. Let’s get to the conclusion.'”
Turley said the president, notwithstanding his constitutional authority to exercise power within the executive branch, could obstruct justice if he acts corruptly. But he said firing FBI Director James Comey also does not fit the bill.
“The problem is that President Trump had ample reason to fire Comey,” he said. “His timing was pretty bad. But he had ample reason to do so.”