House Judiciary Republicans take aim at Hillary, and you won’t believe what they want.
On May 17th, Assistant Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, acting in his capacity as acting Attorney General due to Jeff Sessions’ recusal from all Russia related matters, appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate possible coordination between the campaign of Donald Trump and the Russian Government.
Specifically, according to the memo appointing the Special Counsel, Mueller is authorized to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
This decision was not an isolated decision by Rosenstein, it instead came in the direct aftermath of President Donald Trump firing FBI Director James Comey. That act sent shockwaves across the Washington, prompting both politicians and pundits to criticize the move. Because of the timing, it even prompted many Democrats to suggest that Trump fired Comey part of a coverup.
Their claims were that Trump fired Comey in order to get the FBI to stop investigating the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and cover up the fact that he or his campaign colluded with the Russian Government to win the election.
Many Democrats, and even some Republicans, called for a Special Counsel to investigate what they viewed as a suspicious firing. In response to the growing political pressure, Rosenstein issued the memo appointing the Special Counsel to investigate.
At first, the reaction to the appointment of a Special Counsel was extremely positive, with politicians from all sides praising the appointment of Robert S. Mueller as Special Counsel, signaling out his virtues and credibility.
Excellent choice for special counsel by Deputy AG. Fmr FBI Director Robert Mueller has sterling credentials & is above reproach #mepolitics
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) May 17, 2017
Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual to serve as special counsel in the Russia investigation.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 17, 2017
While the appointment of a Special Counsel slightly calmed tensions, Congress still wanted answers on the firing of James Comey.
In the face of these rising demands, James Comey testified, by his own free will, before the Senate Intelligence Committee about what happened in the leadup to his firing. During this testimony, Comey called Trump a liar and implied that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into the National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. While his testimony was very damming of Trump, it also contained one damning indictment of the Obama Administration.
As CBS News explains:
“Comey said his reasoning behind his much-criticized July 2016 announcement that the FBI would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton over her private email server had a lot to do with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch holding a private meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix, Arizona tarmac.
But that wasn’t the only reason he decided to make the announcement. “Probably the only other consideration that I guess I can talk about in open setting is that at one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me, but that was one of the bricks in the road that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we’re too close this case credibly,” Comey said.”
What’s Happening Now:
It seems that some Republicans in the house have now found a way to flip the comedy firing on its head and use it as a way to go after Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration.
As The Daily Caller reports:
“Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are asking the Justice Department to appoint a second special counsel, this one to investigate Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Judiciary Republicans say they want a second investigator to match Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is conducting a sprawling investigation of the Trump campaign and various Trump associates.
“The unbalanced, uncertain, and seemingly unlimited focus of the special counsel’s investigation has led many of our constituents to see a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connected,” the Republicans say.”
After hearing and thinking about what Comey said about Loretta Lynch in his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, it seems Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have decided that they can use that as a jumping point to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate anything they consider wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration.
As the Daily Caller further explains:
“In their letter, the Republicans list 14 separate categories they say should be investigated by the additional special counsel.”
These include a deeper investigation into Hillary Clinton’s potential mishandling of classified information and an investigation into Comey’s testimony that Loretta Lynch ordered him to refer to the Clinton Email Server investigation as a “matter.”
Furthermore, Republicans also want an investigation into Comey “to look into ‘any and all potential leaks originated by Mr. Comey and provide to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.'”
This is based on Comey’s testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee that he leaked his notes on his meeting with Trump to a Columbia Law Professor in order to spur the appointment of a Special Counsel and that NY Times reporter Michael Schmidt somehow got word of this and reported it.
It seems that Comey’s desire to spur the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate Trump may end up in him being investigated by a Special Counsel.