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Sessions raises prospect of special counsel on GOP concerns

15 November 2017

Sessions testified in Congress that, following a guilty plea by Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, he now remembers a March 2016 meeting at which Papadopoulos was present and suggested he could arrange a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In addition to the meeting with Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page testified before the House Intelligence Committee recently that he told Sessions of his plans to travel to Moscow.

Sessions said he was aware of Trump's repeated suggestions that the Justice Department should investigate Clinton, but that his actions did not follow from the president's words.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election to help Republican Trump's campaign.

"My answer stands for itself, I guess", Sessions said.

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Accusations of collusion with Russian Federation during the election campaign have dogged Trump's first 10 months in office, setting off an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional probes.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed federal prosecutors to "evaluate certain issues" involving Hillary Clinton's alleged corruption in a deal which gave Russian company Rosatom control over 20 percent of America's uranium supply.

Last month, he faced the Senate judiciary committee for further questions about his changing story, with Democrats dismayed that Sessions continued to cite executive privilege in refusing to discuss any conversations with President Donald Trump.

"I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath".

The Justice Department on November 14 informed the House committee that it was looking into whether a special independent counsel should be appointed.

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Papadopolous pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russians.

Sessions repeatedly declined to answer questions related to the infamous dossier about Donald Trump prepared by retired British agent Christopher Steele, saying he would have to refer questions to the investigation by Mueller.

"The list of matters [Goodlatte] wanted probed was wide ranging, but included the FBI's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, various dealings of the Clinton Foundation and several matters connected to the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One by Russia's nuclear energy agency", according to the Washington Post. [John] Danforth took over that investigation as special counsel - and Mr. Mueller.

From Republicans, Sessions is likely to face inquiries on a host of matters they want investigated - including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russian Federation.

"I would say it is improper to influence - ah - it would be - a president can not improperly influence and investigation, and I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced", Sessions continued.

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Sessions raises prospect of special counsel on GOP concerns